Nigeria MapNigeria with a population of over 116 million is one of the most poplulous country in Africa.

Nigeria is located in West Africa with total land area of 923,768 sq km. The agriculture sector employs 70% of its labor force and contributes more than 33% to the GDP. The main crops grown are cotton, cocoa, rubber, peanuts, oil palm, maize, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava, yams, timber and livestock. The agricultural sector in Nigeria, since 1970’s has been characterised by declining productivity and increased dependence on import of food and raw materials.

For decades cotton production (lint and cotton seed) has been a driving force for economic development in Nigeria. The neglect of the agricultural sector during the oil boom years (1970-80’s) had a direct impact on the cotton sector. In the recent years due to poor management and reduced production of both lint and seed, the cotton sector has slackened.

The main feature of Nigerian cotton cultivation is that 80% of total production is by peasant farmers under rain-fed conditions with simple tools and animal drawn implements. Cotton production in Nigeria was 30,000 MT in 1954 which increased to 60,000 MT in 1979. Production started to decline after that and reached 30,000 MT during 1988. Since then, it has been increasing and current production stands at 95,000 MT. The yield in Nigeria is around 1 ton of seed cotton/ha with GOT of about 35%. Saw ginning is prevalent and the most common Nigerian variety fiber is 28-30mm in length.

The cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera Hubn), the spiny bollworms (Earias insulana Boisd and E. biplaga Wlk.), and the leafroller (Sylepta derogata F.) are major lepidopterous pests of cotton in South-western Nigeria.

Organic cotton too, shows potential in Nigeria and it is expected that through rigorous efforts the country will be able to produce 100 tonnes of organic cotton by 2010.

Cotton in Nigeria has strong linkages with the domestic industries which consume up to 50% of the total production and the rest is exported to EU, China, South Korea and Taiwan. It had a well developed textile industry till the 1980’s and was one of the finest and most vibrant industries in the world. At its peak in the 1980s, the industry provided about 500,000 direct jobs with well over 250 functional factories. The industry started to decline after 2000 followed by closures of the major factories caused by operational difficulties.

The Government of Nigeria has given priority to reviving, the once flourishing cotton textile industry. In an effort to revive the entire value chain, with focus on value addition, institutions have been set up major ones being The Manufacturer’s Association of Nigeria (MAN), Cotton Development Committee (CDC) and Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA). The Government through Cotton, Textile and Garment Industry Revival Scheme is also trying to diversify its non-oil economy.

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