Farming of Cotton Lint
ArewaCotton has its own farms and that of its outgrowers in the North Central and Southwest Regions of Nigeria, where the weather and soil types are very much suitable for cotton growing. The North Central cotton variety is of Medium Staple while that of the Southwest is of the Long Staple variety. Within these Regions, the planting season commences between ending May into June for the North Central and ending June into July for the Southwest. Harvest of the cotton does not usually exceed six months, so cotton picking commences from November.
A major challenge today in Nigeria is the provision of adequate and quality Agriculture inputs. To this end, we are building the required partnerships that will ensure the timely and efficient deliveries of quality based agro inputs such as Seeds, fertilizers, chemicals etc which will further boost cotton yields therefore overall productivity of cotton farming. Our partners are a combination of organizations from the Public and Private sectors locally and internationally.
Harvesting is also a major challenge today and may require mechanization though we are thinking out strategies that will continue to promote hand pick cotton for its obvious employment generation and better quality support. It is of utmost importance that our crops are harvested before weather damage can occur.
ArewaCotton, along with the Federal Minstry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), have been promoting the use of SAMCOT 10 and 11, the cotton variety types for the North Central and Southwest Regions respectivily. These cotton seed types have helped to boost crop outputs in the Regions.
Also, the introduction of target specific insecticides and herbicides are critical to the survival of the cotton plant which if not protected, begin to overpower and drastically reduce yields. The cotton plant has over the years attracted numerous damaging insects which if left unattended, would virtually eliminate the harvestable crop.
Overall, ArewaCotton utilizes a multifaceted approach to the problem of insects using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system, which simply aims to keep pests below yield-damaging levels. IPM is also dependent on natural populations of beneficial insects to suppress damaging pests. But ultimately going forward, we aim to develop cotton varieties that will be genetically unattractive to pests.
Our company partners with the members of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) in the communities that we operate in. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that our farming partners will achieve increased standards of living simply through improved incomes generated from cotton farming.