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October 02, 2012

Egypt's cotton farming sector in steep decline

One Egyptian cotton expert says, "In the 1970s, we used to grow cotton on 2 million feddans, now it has been reduced to 300,000 feddans." (One feddan = 4,200 square metres.)

Reasons?

‘…a marked increase in the cost of farming the commodity, competition from cheaper threads from elsewhere and labour strikes in textile factories.’

As almost everywhere else that cotton farming is in trouble, there is hope that the government will intervene to save the day. It has done so through subsidies for cotton farmers, but with other costs making the country’s cotton uncompetitive, solving the problem is not that simple and straightforward.

Again as almost everywhere else, hard-to-price compete-against fabrics from China are a big issue for Egypt’s textile sector in general, and its cotton farmers in particular.

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