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Mali aims to produce 800,000 tons of cotton by 2017-18
Apr '13
Mali, a land-locked country in Western Africa, is planning to nearly double its annual cotton production to 800,000 tons in 2017-18 from the 445,314 tons produced in 2011-12.
Addressing the National Workshop on Strategic Development 2013-18 for the cotton sector, Mr. Salif Abdoulaye Sissoko, chief executive officer of the Malian Company for the Development of Textiles (CMDT), said over three million Malians depend directly on the cotton sector for their livelihood.
Mr. Sissoko said Mali’s cotton output had grown during the last three crop seasons from 229,000 tons in 2009-10 to 445,314 tons in 2011-12.
He added that the country is likely to produce around 450,000 tons of cotton in 2012-13 season.
The growth in cotton production remains fragile despite efforts by the Government in the form of increasing the support price for cotton and supplying inputs at subsidized prices to cotton growers, the CMDT CEO said.
Citing the difficulties faced by Malian cotton farmers, he said poor rainfall, attacks by various pests, declining soil fertility, low yield, etc. are the challenges that trouble the cotton sector.
Still, Malian cotton production is likely to grow at an average of about 70,000 tons per year from 2013-14 season to about 800,000 tons by 2017-18, he added.
For the purpose, the workshop suggested construction of new roads for efficient transportation of the harvest from fields to markets, and setting up a research institute to test GM cotton.
Cotton is the backbone of the Malian economy as it earns over 80 percent of the country’s export revenues. The CMDT is the lead company that buys cotton from farmers and exports it to other countries.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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