NIGERIAN KENAF A CASE HISTORY
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CTA. 1996. NIGERIAN KENAF A CASE HISTORY. Spore 65. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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Kenaf has never been a major crop in Nigeria, but it has provided raw material for the manufacture of jute bags and for makinghigh quality paper and newsprint; and the bark has been used for cordage (ropes). The establishment by government, in...
Kenaf has never been a major crop in Nigeria, but it has provided raw material for the manufacture of jute bags and for making high quality paper and newsprint; and the bark has been used for cordage (ropes). The establishment by government, in 1960, of two factories to produce bags for the export of cocoa and palm kernel stimulated production. But production could not be maintained because of the erratic supply of raw material and transport problems, and raw jute had to be imported in large quantities to supply the factories. In 1990 the Federal Ministry of Agriculture organized a national workshop to resuscitate interest in kenaf production, processing and marketing. This brought together people from the public and private sectors and subsequently generated widespread demand for kenaf seeds, with interested farmers forming the Kenaf Association of Nigeria (KEAN). Currently about 500 hectares of kenaf are being cultivated annually with a yield of approximately it/ha of fibre. However, commercial production of kenaf has not been started on a significant scale because of shortage of kenaf seeds. Processing has also been recognized as a key area for investment. At the primary level Kenaf processing is very laborious and a survey by KEAN has shown that the decorticators installed in the early years of the industry cannot be economically rehabilitated; they will need replacing. The FAO has been asked to assist with a comprehensive project to mount a campaign to raise public awareness of the considerable potential and economic importance of kenaf as an industrial and export crop and to provide technical assistance in extension, training and processing.
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