The Cotton Industry
Cotton, a valuable raw material and a mainstay of the textile industry, has been around for centuries and remains one of the most crucial resources to this day. The development of the cotton industry in British West-Africa is largely the work of the British cotton Growing association. Cotton is the world's most important natural fibre. Global Cotton Production in 2019-20 is projected at 121.6 million bales, 2.5 per cent (3 million bales) above last season and the second highest since 2012-13. The global yield, however, is forecast at 765 kg per hectare (682 pounds per acre),. There are five stages:
• Cultivating and Harvesting
Cotton can be obtained in many ways like from weaving, knitting, even by using hand looms and power looms.
Varieties & Species
• Samcot -8: recommended for the Eastern Cotton Zone (North-East)
• Samcot -9, 12, 13: recommended for the Northern Cotton one (North-West), Samcot 12 & 13, should be grown with supplementary irrigation.
• Samcot 10 & 11: recommended for the North-Central and South-Western cotton Zone.
The Cotton Plant
Cotton is a shrubby plant that is a member of the Mallow family. Its name refers to the cream-colored fluffy fibres surrounding small cottonseeds called a boll
The cotton plant is a source for many important products other than fabric. Among the most important is cottonseed, which is pressed for cottonseed oil that is used in commercial products such as salad oils and snack foods, cosmetics, soap, candles, detergents, and paint. The hulls and meal are used for animal feed. Cotton is also a source for cellulose products, fertilizer, fuel, automobile tire cord, pressed paper, and cardboard. cotton can thrive well on fertile clay loams, silty loams, and sandy loams. sandy, saline and waterlogged soils must be avoided.
Where it is grown
We get cotton from nature as a vegetable fibre. It is a natural fibre grown on a plant related to the hibiscus. The seeds are planted during the rainy season (spring). Cotton is a desert plant so it will grow almost anywhere provided there is adequate rainfall or irrigation, and the necessary infrastructure to harvest and process it are available.
How it is grown
The seeds are planted in spring (rainy season) and cotton plants grow into green, bushy shrubs about a meter in height. The plants briefly grow pink and cream-colored flowers that once pollinated, drop off and are replaced with “fruit”, better known as cotton bolls.
Inside each cotton boll, is the fluffy white lint as well as a number of cotton seeds. The cotton is picked with large mechanical harvesters or by hand and sent off to the cotton “gin” for processing.
During the ginning process, the lint is separated from the seeds and is then pressed into bales and transported to be spun, dyed, knitted and woven into fabrics like clothes and home furnishings.