How to Start Cotton Farming in Nigeria.
Cotton is one of the cash crops in Nigeria. It is a highly demanded natural material because it’s used for production of fiber and textile materials. As long as people continue wearing clothes, there will always be demand for cotton.
At a time in Nigeria, cotton was one of the major products exported in Nigeria. It made up 25% of the country’s GDP until the discovery of crude oil. Presently, cotton makes up 5% of the country’s GDP. However, this figure can increase only if farmers are willing to practice cotton farming.
Cotton is mostly produced in these states in Nigeria; Zamfara, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi, Ondo, Ogun and Oyo.
This article will give a step by step guide on how to start cotton farming in Nigeria.
Acquire a Land
Cotton farming requires high capital and intensive labour. The large share of the capital goes into acquiring a land. The best system of farming to be practiced here is commercial farming, which is why you will need a massive land. You can either buy or rent a land. If you are renting a land, it should be up to 10years so that you have enough time to gain from your investment.
Before acquiring a land, you need to consider the viability of the land. It should be in a location that is exposed to sunlight. Also, you will need farming equipments like tractors for land preparation and planting. You will also need fertilizers and pesticides to reduce the effect of pest because cotton plants are highly susceptible to pest attacks.
There is a period for planting cotton which is usually during the dry season and you must have the seeds during this period. Your yield will be poor if you miss the planting season. You can acquire the seeds from other farmers around. The quality of your harvest is dependent on the quality of seeds so when buying the seeds, you must randomly ascertain their viability. Most farmers have complained about the unavailability of quality cotton seeds but this problem has been rectified with the introduction of biotechnology. It helps to ensure best quality seeds for planting.
At the conclusion of one year, your cotton plant should be ready for harvesting. You will know the cotton plant is ready for harvest when the buds blossom and the cotton flower become visible. You can employ labourers to harvest the cotton for you. You should also be ready to transport the flowers to buyers once it’s been harvested.
Sell your Cotton
Cotton is needed in high demand. You can liaise with fabric industries to supply your produce once it’s harvested. There shouldn’t be any delay in transportation of your cotton to prevent post harvest disease that can affect the cotton flower. You can also export your cotton to neighboring African nations.
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