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Country earns sh60b in cotton exports
05
Aug '08
THE cotton sub-sector earned Uganda about sh60b in exports in the last financial year, an official has said. The export of cotton lint (cotton without seeds) fetched $30m (about sh51b), while the cotton seed for oil and animal feeds brought in sh8.4b.

Briefing the parliamentary committee on agriculture yesterday, Jolly Sabune, the managing director of the cotton development organisation, said 185 kilogrammes of the lint were produced.

The committee, chaired by Deusdedit Bikwasizehi (Buhweju), heard that although the Government released sh3.7b out of the required sh4.7b to the cotton organisation last year, it generated 6,865 metric tonnes from the 28,000 acres of the BPA 2002, which is the latest seed variety.

The variety was multiplied in Amolatar, Arua, Bulisa, Kasese, Kamuli, Pallisa and Soroti districts.

“Due to strict quality control by the cotton development organisation to match international standards, the quality of Ugandan cotton has greatly improved, making it possible to regain our premium on the international market,” said Sabune.She, however, regretted that only sh2.2b of the required sh5.1b in this year's budget had been approved.

Sabune observed that farmers in the north, West Nile and Pallisa districts had switched to organic cotton production. She was concerned that the premiums on organic cotton were likely to decrease with the increase in production from larger producing countries like India, USA, Turkey and Portugal.

Sabune also called for the elimination of subsides offered by developed countries to their cotton sectors. She urged the Government to partner with the World Trade organisation to establish a price stabilisation fund.

Sabune also advised the Government to set up credit lines through banks for farmer groups to set up mini-ginneries or contract gins so as to benefit from the sale of cotton lint and seeds.

Cotton Development Organisation

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