Tanzania Lowers Cotton Crop Forecast on ‘Erratic Weather’

Cotton production in Tanzania, East Africa’s biggest producer of the crop, fell 19 percent short of the country’s target after farmers used less pesticides and high quality seeds, the industry regulator said.

Output in the marketing year that started July and runs through June is estimated at about 202,000 metric tons, compared with a target of 250,000 tons set in June, Gabriel Mwalo, director for finance and administration at the Dar es Salaam-based board cotton board, said by e-mail on Wednesday.

The target set in June replaced an initial goal of 287,500 tons after “erratic weather” affected the crop. Last season’s harvest was 246,000 tons. There’s no forecast yet for the next marketing year, Mwalo said.

Tanzania plants the crop from November to mid-December in the main producing western region, while planting in the eastern region runs from February to mid-March, according to Mwalo. The country reaps the crop from April through August, according to the board, and exports the bulk of its crop to China, Indonesia, Thailand, Kenya, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and India.

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