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Cotton production increases after Burkino Faso discontinues Monsanto variety

As per estimates, Burkina Faso’s production of raw cotton for the 2016-17 harvest will grow by 25 per cent compared to previous harvest as favourable rainfall boosts output, the country's agriculture minister has divulged. It is a landlocked country in Africa around 274,200 sq. km in size. It is surrounded by six countries vz Mali to the north; Niger to the East; Benin to the Southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south and Ivory Coast to the southwest. Its capital is Ouagadougou.

After blaming a GM variety supplied by US seed maker Monsanto for the decline in cotton quality, the West African country's growers had reverted entirely to conventional cotton for the new crop. The 2016-17 harvest, which is expected to total 750,000 tons, was showing improved quality as well as production, minister Jacob Ouedraogo said.

Earlier, Burkina Faso's cotton producers had complained that increased levels of short fibers in their GM cotton had impacted its market value and had last April announced that they were seeking 48.3 billion CFA francs ($78 million) in compensation from Monsanto. Acknowledging changes in cotton fiber length, the seed company has argued that fiber quality is also influenced by environmental conditions and that other cotton varieties have shown length variations. The talks between Burkina's producers and Monsanto were going on, Ouedraogo added.