Photographer: Issouf Sanogo/AFP via Getty Images

Burkina Faso Sees Cotton Output Rising 20% in 2017-18 Season

Burkina Faso, Africa’s top cotton grower, sees output rising by as much as 20 percent to 820,000 metric tons in the 2017-18 season which starts this month, an industry official said.

The target is "realistic and achievable" if rains are favorable and well distributed over the season and if parasites are kept under control, Georges Yameogo, general secretary of the nation’s cotton association, told reporters on Saturday in the capital, Ouagadougou.

The price for the new season was set at 245 CFA Francs ($0.40) a kilogram, up from 235 francs in the previous season, he said. The costs of fertilizers, insecticides and seeds remain unchanged, he said.

Burkina Faso harvested 683,000 tons of cotton in the 2016-17 season, Yameogo said. That’s below the target of 700,000 tons because of a lack of rains in September, he said. But it’s still 17 percent higher than the 586,000 tons harvested in 2015-2016, he said.

The return to conventional seeds last season made it possible to eliminate almost all short fibers, Yameogo said. The West African nation decided last year to halt the production of genetically modified cotton, a variety introduced by Monsanto Co., because the short fiber was hurting its reputation and cutting revenue.

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