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US envoy advises using bio-cotton to boost output
Feb '11
The start of the first Cotton Business Forum was marked with an appeal from the the United States Ambassador to Cameroon, who pleaded in support of biotechnology.

The participants at the first Cotton Business Forum which was held in Yaounde were made aware of the advantages of Biotechnology, like it being an economical and sustainable alternative to boost the competitiveness of Central Africa's cotton and textile sector.

Robert P Jackson, the US Ambassador, in a keynote address to the participants from various countries, stressed on the fact that, even today around 300,000 families in Cameroon depend on cotton for their livelihood, in spite of that the cotton output here has plummeted by more than 50 percent over the last five years.

When the industry engages so many people it should also result in better output, which is essential to satisfy the domestic demand, he said and advised that the industry should adapt to agricultural biotechnology to raise the cotton output and thereby cash in on the historic high cotton prices that the world markets are offering presently.

He further said that, biotechnology flaunts a 15-year set record of risk-free use and proven results. While citing the example of India he stated that, cotton farmers in India adapted to biotech cotton in 2002 which helped them to raise their production to double by 2008.

This not only ensured higher returns, but even helped the country to develop from a cotton importing country to a cotton exporting country with a vibrant textile sector.

Such a suggestion was reflective of the sincerity with which the participants opened the Forum aimed at upgrading the domestic production systems and networks of cotton and textile firms in the Central Africa, a sub-part of Africa where cotton production takes place in three countries.

More than 200,000 cotton growers in the northern part of Cameroon functioning under the gamut of the Cotton Development Company, SODECOTON, produce majority of the country's cotton. The region, last year produced 111,000 metric tons of cotton, and aims to produce 150,000 tons this year.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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