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Bangladesh takes initiative to boost cotton output
Jun '11
To safeguard spinners, textiles and clothing producers, who have been badly hit by the volatility in the international cotton market, the Bangladesh Government has introduced an initiative to boost domestic cotton production.

Under the initiative, around 19,000 local farmers would be imparted training on modern cotton cultivation techniques, during the forthcoming cotton season.

The Government has announced that for training farmers on these techniques, 900 demonstration plots would be set up each occupying one bigha (1 bigha = 1333.33 sq. m) of area. Also, farmers would be provided seeds and other inputs like fertilizers and insecticides at 80 percent subsidized rates.

The Government, through the initiative, proposes to yield 220 metric tons of superior cotton seeds through cultivation on 200 hectares of land through contract farming, during the current crop season.

Farmers would be provided such seeds at 50 percent subsidised rate by the Government. Also, the Cotton Development Board (CDB) of Bangladesh has a fund of Tk 40.62 million to help small and marginal cotton cultivators for procuring various necessary inputs.

To meet the production target, the CDB proposes to dole out eight million taka during the current crop cultivation season.

The Government has taken this initiative as a result of rising prices of cotton in world market which has lately caused many spinners to face acute crisis of working capital. It has also led to a considerable hike in the export cost of woven and textile items, as buyers are unwilling to pay for the rise in cotton prices.

Growing demand from China, lower cotton output in Pakistan, and export ban imposed by India are the factors that have led to a severe shortage of cotton in Bangladesh, leading to an increase in the domestic cotton prices by over 40 percent since January 2011.

The Government stated that it has initiated measures to boost cotton cultivation domestically just to shield the local industries against future fluctuations in world cotton market.

As against its annual demand of five billion bales of cotton, Bangladesh produces just 70,000 bales, which necessitates the spinners to import raw cotton in bulk from foreign countries. Within Bangladesh, raw cotton is cultivated on a large scale in Gazipur, Jessore, Rangpur and Dinajpur.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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