West African cotton production is set to bounce back, after weather
damage in the previous crop, US officials said.
The US Department of Agriculture's bureau in Dakar forecast
rising crops in the main West African cotton growers, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cote
d'Ivoire, Senegal, and Chad, despite the region's top grower abandoning genetically
Production across the countries was seen at 1.9m tonnes in
2016-17, up 24% year on year, with production in Burkina Faso hitting record levels.
Drought, rain damage
The cotton crop is recovering from last season's disappointing
crop, when production fell 16% year on year, to 1.6m tonnes, falling short of
The Dakar bureau ascribed the drop in production to "late
rains at the beginning of the season and heavy rains at the end of the season".
"This situation resulted in decreased cotton yield and seed
cotton production in most of the countries," the bureau said.
Burkinabe production to
In Burkina Faso, the region's top grower, the bureau said "the
beginning of the 2016-17 cotton planting campaign started well with enough
"In mid-July, 90 percent of the forecasted area had been
The Burkinabe government expects production
to reach 750,000 tonnes, up from 581,000 tonnes in 2015-16.
But in Mali, the second-ranked West African grower, "the
beginning of the 2016-17 season was quite difficult due to the shortfall of
rains leaving numerous dry areas and a delay in the sowing schedule".
"Therefore, Mali is most likely to revise regain its target
(650,000 tons) but [the bureau] continues to believe that seed cotton
production may not exceed 600,000."
Farmers reject genetically
Farmers in Burkina Faso will not plant Monsanto's
genetically modified Bt cotton again this season, the bureau said.
Burkina Faso is the only West African country to plant Bt
cotton, which is resistant to boll worms.
Cotton producers are in dispute with Monsanto, over
accusations that the short staple length has reduced the reputation of Burkinabe