The decline in cotton production in Katsina State this year has resulted in high demand and price for the produce, Daily Trust can report.
Over the years, farmers in the state have shifted to the cultivation of other crops like rice, soya bean, maize and sorghum for lack of improved cotton seed and low price of the produce compared to its high cost of production.
A cotton farmer and dealer, Alhaji Kamilu Kankara, said one could not predict where the price of cotton would stop this year as it was in short supply in the markets.
“Farmers are fast abandoning cotton farming here and this year seems the worst considering how we concentrate on the cultivation of grains. This resulted in the gross shortage in supply of the produce, making its price to range from N230,000 to N245,000 per metric tonne.
“Last year, the highest price we bought cotton was N170,000 per tonne,’’ Alhaji Kamilu noted.
He added that though farm produce generally had high value, this year, the high price of cotton was due to its low supply from farmers and perhaps its high demand abroad.
Another cotton dealer, Alhaji Lawal Malumfashi, said forex also played a role in the pricing, considering cotton is an export commodity.
“It is true that the supply is poor this year which falls far lower than the demand level but forex is also a factor in the high price of cotton, especially that we largely export our cotton in form of lint,’’ he said.
He added that even with the attractive price, farmers would hardly develop interest in cotton farming because of the opportunities in rice, soya beans and maize.
He said that as the market supply of cotton is shrinking many of the produce dealers in Kankara, Malumfashi and Funtua have shifted to dealing in soya beans and other grains.