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Cotton production report for 2006/07

May '07
Cotton production for 2006/07 is again revised downwards to 660,000 tons of seed cotton or 1.28 million bales due to disappointing yields. Low yields are linked to poor soils, declining seed quality, lack of fertilizers and late planting in some areas.

The cost of fertilizers has been increasing, and due to financial problems in the sector they are often sold by farmers or diverted to cereal crops. Due to the late procurement of inputs and the reduction in producer prices to 145 CFA for the 2007/08 campaign, the production forecast is again lowered to 630,000 MT seed cotton reflecting a reduction in area.

This forecast could increase or decrease within certain limits. While farmers should plant their cotton by mid-May, late plantings can occur into July. Any significant increase in area would be planted late and would lack necessary inputs, thereby reducing yields significantly.

Likewise, a significant reduction in area is not likely since farmers have few alternatives. The production of cotton is the only way producers have access to fertilizer and pesticide credits. There is a positive effect on cereal production when it is grown after cotton that has been fertilized. Thus, many producers will continue to grow cotton despite diminishing returns.

Biotechnology in Burkina Faso:
Burkina Faso has been conducting field trials of BT cotton since 2003. In 2006, BT field trials were conducted with local varieties. In 2007, the field trials will be extended to each major growing region.

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