Burkina Faso’s cotton output skyrockets 57%

February 02, 2013 - Burkina Faso

Outshining the producer association’s expectations of 532,000 tons, Burkina Faso’s cotton output rose to 630,000 tons in 2012-13, a 57.5 percent rise above 400,000 tons achieved in 2011-12.

The rise has been achieved by the rise in use of genetically modified (GM) seeds, the Burkina National Cotton Producers' Union (UNPCB) said.
 
According to Reuters, the country was amongst the first African countries to allow use of GM cotton. Cotton is also one of the key export commodity of Burkina Faso. 
 
UNPCB President Karim Traore said production of GM cotton is rising year-by-year. SOFITEX, the country’s leading cotton producer harvested around 500,000 tons of cotton in 2012-13, with GM crops contributing around 55 percent of the same. Meanwhile, Gourma Cotton Company reaped 100,000 tons of cotton, he said.
 
The outstanding cotton output of the country, is also expected to boost the region’s annual contribution in West Africa’s total output. A survey of six West African countries undertaken by producers has led to a forecast that the output from these countries may rise by 29 percent to 1.7385 million tons. 
 
Though more and more farmers in West Africa are adopting cotton cultivation, the crop output still suffers for want of agricultural technology and tough competition from subsidised farmers in the US.