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Tanzania cotton output may double in 2017

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-08-04 16:30:00 – Africa

Stronger prices for the fiber spurs Tanzanian farmers, the world’s fourth-biggest producer of the organic variety to increase cultivation which may double cotton production to a four year high next season, said a government agency.

Emmanuel Mwangulumba, chief regulatory officer at the Tanzania Cotton Board said that ginning companies are raising the amount they pay farmers to an average of 1,000 shillings ($0.46) per kilogram (2.2 pounds), 25 percent more than they previously received.

While output for the current season will be broadly unchanged from last year’s harvest of 150,000 metric tons because of dry weather but the price increase will have positive repercussions for the following period, he said.

They expect much of the acreage will be under cotton in the next farming season, which starts in November, estimating production of as much as 300,000 tons for the 2017 season.

At least 300,000 farmers produce the fiber each season, although that can double when the weather is good and prices are more attractive, Mwangulumba said.

Output in Tanzania, which competes with Zimbabwe as sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest producer, peaked in the 2005-06 season at about 370,000 tons, according to the nation’s Cotton Board. Production was about 352,000 tons as late as 2012-13, before falling to more than half that recently.

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