Togo’s improving cotton sector may fall short of its objectives

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FrancTrade view: Togo has prioritised the growth of its cotton industry in recent years and has tried to improve efficiencies in the sector given buoyant global prices. In our view, it may struggle to reach its production target of 130,000 tonnes next season.

cropped-FTcotton.jpgStory: Togo expects to produce 130,000 tonnes of cotton in the 2016/17 season beginning August 2016 from a planted area of 131,000 hectares. This compares with 85,000 tonnes produced last year, according to official sources, which contrasts sharply with data from the US Department of Agriculture. If the objective for 2016/17 is realised it will make Togo one of the most efficient producers in Africa, above top producer Burkina Faso.
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) currently produces around 6.5 million bales (480lbs) of cotton, accounting for just over 6% of global output. Burkina Faso and Mali together account for over 30% of SSA’s output. However, cotton in the region, which is largely handpicked, enjoys a competitive advantage on world markets due to the length and strength of its fibres. Most other cotton produced in the world is machine picked which can damage fibre quality. Burkina Faso has recently decommissioned the use of biotechnology cotton seed after falling out with promoter Monsanto over its impact on fibre length.

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