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Mali government calls for 36 percent jump in cotton output

The Mali government has called on farmers to boost raw cotton production by 36 percent to 600,000 tonnes in 2014/2015 to take advantage of high global prices, far exceeding the state cotton company's forecast. Ousmane N. Traore, a technical adviser at state company CMDT, said on Tuesday that authorities called for an even greater increase after CMDT presented a forecast of 525,000 tonnes, already a gain of more than 19 percent.

"The growers said that it would be possible to hit 600,000 tonnes if the price of the inputs is lowered; youth are encouraged to work in the fields rather than pan for gold; and soil fertility is increased," Traore said. Mali's cotton sector, which employs some 3.5 million people, is benefiting as higher world prices lure farmers back into fields. Cotton futures prices have risen, reaching a two-year high in April, on concerns that prolonged drought in Texas will hurt the US cotton harvest.

Copyright Reuters, 2014


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