OUAGADOUGOU Jan 31 Cotton production in Burkina
Faso, one of the first countries in Africa to approve
genetically modified cotton, jumped 57.5 percent in 2012-2013
due to an increase in GMO crops, the producers' association
Output for the year to end-January 2013 rose to 630,000
tonnes from 400,000 tonnes in 2011/2012 and exceeded the
association's expectations for 532,000 tonnes, the Burkina
National Cotton Producers' Union (UNPCB) said on Thursday.
Burkina Faso, which relies on cotton as one of its major
exports, approved the planting of Monsanto's Bt cotton
GMO variety in 2008.
"Genetically modified cotton production is experiencing
growth every year," said Karim Traore, UNPCB president.
Burkina Faso's top cotton producer, SOFITEX, collected
500,000 tonnes, 55 percent of which came from genetically
modified crops, while the Gourma Cotton company collected
100,000 tonnes, he said.
The country's greater-than-expected output could also boost
the regional total for West Africa for the year. In an April
survey in six West African countries, producers had forecast a
29 percent increase to 1,738,500 tonnes for 2012-2013.
Although an increasing number of farmers are turning to
cotton in West Africa, production remains hobbled by a lack of
agricultural technology and stiff competition from subsidised
growers such as in the United States.
The Benchmark March cotton contract on the ICE
Futures U.S. exchange was trading at 83.19 cents per lb, up 0.27
percent by 1612 GMT on Thursday.