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Burkina Faso reaps record 650,000 tons cotton in 2012-13
19
Apr '13
The land-locked West African nation of Burkina Faso has harvested a record 650,000 tons of cotton in 2012-13, registering a rise of 51 percent over previous season’s production of 417,393 tons, Jean-Paul Sawadogo, Director of the Society of Burkina fibers and textiles (SOFITEX), the main cotton company in the country, said at a press conference.
 
With half of the produce reaped during 2012-13 being of transgenic origin, that is Bt cotton, Burkina Faso, the biggest producer of cotton in sub-Saharan Africa, has become a leader in Bt cotton production in the African continent, Mr. Sawadogo said.
 
Burkina Faso was the first country in Western Africa to allow cultivation of Bt cotton in 2003, on an experimental basis, in view of the profitability concerns of cotton industry and environmental and health risks associated with the use of pesticides.
 
By 2007-08, genetically modified cotton became popular and farmers planted Bt cotton seeds on 120,000 hectares of land in 2009-10.
 
Representing a 20 percent share in overall exports, cotton remained the top export item for Burkina Faso since the country got independence in 1960 till 2009, when gold took over it. Today, gold holds a 15 percent share, while the share for cotton is 12 percent in the country’s total exports.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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