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African Cotton Production Expected to Reach 5 Million Tons by 2020

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Cotton production in Africa could reach 5 million tons by 2020 if the African Cotton Association (ACA) has its way. Currently, Africa produces 1.5 million tons of cotton, which accounts for 6 percent of the world’s production.

The ACA met in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire last week to discuss African cotton and the challenges caused by climate change.

ACA’s acting president Salif Abdoulaye Cissoko took the opportunity to urge African governments, sub-regional organizations and the African Union to support the cotton association so that it can work to improve productivity and competitiveness of cotton on the continent, according to Abidjan.net.

Cotton is a powerful tool for improving macroeconomic conditions and fighting against hunger in Africa, Cissoko said. But the commodity faces many difficulties on the continent, namely the drastic effects of climate change.

N’Golo Coulibaly, a technical advisor to the Minister of Agriculture, said meetings like the one this week will help get stakeholders in the cotton sector on board to promote the management of climate change.

In order to promote the cotton sector, the Ivorian government has so far ensured remunerative prices of at least 60 percent of the cost and freight (CAF) for cotton producers.

Production in Côte d’Ivoire reached 350,000 tons for the 2012-2013 but demand was a much greater 600,000 tons so the country still has a long way to go before it can meet expectations.

Cissoko said if the African governments play their part in helping to combat climate change, production of African cotton could improve significantly over the next five years.

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