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Cotton production declines for third consecutive year in 2006-07

May '07
Chad Production:
The cotton sector in Chad is facing significant structural and financial problems. Production declined for the third consecutive year in 2006/07. The 2006/07 campaign started very late due to the late delivery of inputs – many of which where then sold by farmers for cash.

This is reflected in extremely poor yields which are already the lowest in the C-4 region. Despite its financial problems, CotonTchad was able to finance the crop purchase and inputs for the 2007/08 season.

There are still reports of farmers not getting paid, or farmers getting paid a lower price. Transportation logistics are slow and expensive as all imported inputs and exported cotton pass by truck and rail via the port in Cameroon.

The 2007/08 producer price is expected to be announced at about 160 CFA/kg which reflects the maintenance of the status quo. Deficits will be the result, and they will likely be financed by the treasury. Unlike the other C-4 cotton producers, producer organizations are quite weak; there is virtually no research and no farmer extension.

Due to the absence of stakeholder empowerment, which is organized in an inter-professional association in the other cotton producing countries, unilateral control over the sector remains in the hands of CotonTchad.

In this environment of uncertainty, farmers will likely shift away from cotton production. The reform of Cotontchad, as elaborated in a 2005 privatization 'roadmap', is not moving forward.

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