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Cotton growers say 'no' to sowing seeds
01
Jun '11
Cotton cultivators in Burkina Faso have refused to take up cotton cultivation over Government's refusal to hike the prices of cotton.

Following the Government's denial to raise cotton prices, around 8,000 cotton cultivators in Burkina Faso, Africa's biggest cotton producing country, have decided not to take up cotton cultivation for the 2011-12 season.

Majority of these farmers belong to western Burkina Faso, who usually sell their crop to Societe Burkinabe des Fibres Textiles, also known as Sofitex.

Earlier in May, 2011, also, the cultivators staged demonstrations with a demand to hike cotton prices to 255 CFA francs or US$ 0.55 per kilogram (1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds), from the 245 francs fixed by Sofitex along with two other domestic cotton firms on April 26.

The farmers are also demanding a cut in fertilizer prices from current 16,000 francs per 50 kg to 13,200 francs. However, the Government has said that it could not afford to meet these demands, but still would make a careful study of the issues to arrive at a solution by next season.

Further, Sofitex which is Burkina Faso's largest cotton firm has decided to 'wait and watch' as to how many cotton growers actually boycott cultivation.

Cotton cultivation is undertaken in Burkina Faso from June to mid-July each year, while harvesting of the crop is done during October to April. The cotton sector serves as a source of employment for around 17 percent of the country's total population of 16.3 million.

Editor's note-
For a developing country like Burkina Faso, welfare of farmers and cotton cultivators is vital. The farmers have every right to decide on what they want to grow. If there are other crops that may give higher returns than cotton, the farmers may not grow cotton, even if their demands are met.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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