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June 12, 2011

Ivory Coast to increase cotton production

by Pauline Bax

Ivory Coast aims to boost cotton production to at least 200,000 metric tons in the current season by increasing the price paid to growers of the fiber by 26 percent.

Farmers will receive 265 CFA francs ($0.59) a kilogram (2.2 pounds) for premium-quality cotton in the 2011-12 harvesting season, Laurent Fihox, spokesman for Intercoton, the national association of cotton growers and ginners, said by telephone today. That compares with 210 francs paid in the season that ended last month, he said.

“By setting a good farmgate price for 2011-12, we are hoping to attract new producers,” Fihox said.

Ivory Coast produced 174,000 tons of cotton in the 2010-11 season, 15 percent below initial forecasts, according to Fihox.

“Production was not as good as we had hoped because of unfavorable weather,” he said. “There was too much rainfall in October and November.”

Harvesting of cotton, grown exclusively in the country’s arid north, typically peaks around November. Ivory Coast is the eighth-largest cotton producer on the African continent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service. The country is the world’s biggest grower of cocoa.

Bloomberg

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