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ABIDJAN: Ivory Coast’s cotton output for the 2021/22 season is projected to reach a record 580,000 tonnes, up 4% from the previous season, the cotton ginners’ association said on Thursday.

The country’s cotton sector has been recovering for the past decade after years of political turmoil caused production to plummet. The world’s top cocoa-producing nation was among Africa’s leading cotton exporters before civil war broke out in 2002.

“We plan to sow about 460,000 hectares for the 2021/22 campaign for production of about 580,000 tonnes of seed cotton,” said Brou Kouakou, executive secretary of the association, adding that output from the 2020/21 season had been revised to 558,000 tonnes, from 520,000 tonnes previously.

Kouakou said that farmers were interested in cotton because the farmgate price has held steady at 300 CFA francs ($0.55) per kg.

The number of growers rose to 132,000 in the 2020/21 season, from 117,000 the previous year, he told Reuters.

The COVID-19 pandemic did not disrupt cultivation but did raise the price of agricultural inputs for cotton farming, he said.

The Ivorian cotton season runs from May to April, with sowing from late April or May to June and harvesting from October to January. Ginning and marketing start in November.

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