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Burkina Faso’s Faso Coton Growers Await Key Rains for Seeds

Cotton farmers who sell their produce to Faso Coton, Burkina Faso’s third-biggest cotton company, are facing delays in planting seeds for the 2011-12 harvest amid late seasonal rains, said Marc Leynaert, the company’s operations director.

“At the moment there isn’t enough rain to allow the producer to normally plant their cotton,” he said by phone today. “It is very disturbing.”

The company, which buys from cotton farmers in 11 provinces in central Burkina Faso, projected a 61 percent increase in output for the 2011-12 harvest to 22,000 metric tons, he said. That target may be reduced if the rains needed to plant and then grow seeds are further delayed, Leynaert said. The planting season takes place from June 15 to July 15 and harvesting the crop will start in November.

More people in Burkina Faso, Africa’s largest grower of cotton, planned to plant the fiber this year after the West African nation fixed the price for a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cotton at 245 CFA francs ($0.53), Leynaert said. The rate is 35 percent higher than the previous season’s payment.

Faso Coton farmers didn’t take part in protests against the price that saw growers in the country’s west who sell to the biggest cotton company, Societe Burkinabe des Fibres Textiles, threatened to refuse to plant before backing down on June 14.

Cotton for December delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1.2211 per pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York today.

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