BAMAKO, March 30 (Reuters) – Mali’s government forecast on Tuesday that cotton production would rebound in the 2021/22 season to 810,000 tonnes as it set a farmgate price of 280 CFA francs ($0.5047) per kilo.
Production plunged 79% in the 2020/21 season, which ends this month, to 147,200 tonnes after demand was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic and farmers went on strike to protest low prices.
Mali is one of the four top cotton producers in sub-Saharan Africa, alongside Chad, Benin and Burkina Faso.
Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Ould Mahmoud said farmers would be encouraged to produce by an increase in the farmgate price from 200 CFA francs in 2020/21 and the introduction of an insurance programme for farmers.
“We are going to reach 810,000 tonnes, and this time, with Canadian partners, we are going to try to put in place a new strategy that will allow us to cover the risk for the farmers,” he said on state television.
Mali had originally forecast output at 820,000 tonnes for the 2020/21 season compared with 700,000 tonnes in 2019/20. ($1 = 554.7500 CFA francs) (Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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