May 30, 2015 / 8:35 AM / 4 years ago

Benin cotton output beats forecast, rises 28 pct in 2014/15

COTONOU, May 30 (Reuters) - Cotton output in Benin rose more than expected in the 2014/2015 season, by 28 percent year-on-year to 393,000 tonnes from a forecast 359,000, and is forecast to reach 500,000 tonnes in the next season, the government said.

Cotton production, a top export earner for the West African nation, contributed some 200 billion CFA francs in revenue to the state, agriculture minister Issa El Hadj Azizou said in a statement released late on Friday.

The cotton sector employs about 70 percent of Benin’s more than 10 million people and represents about 20 percent of its gross domestic product.

In neighbouring Togo, cotton production rose over 45 percent year-on-year to 113,000 tonnes in the season, NSCT, the company that oversees the industry in the West African state said, also late on Friday. NSCT said it expected 2015/2016 harvest at 130,000 tonnes. (Reporting by Allegresse Sasse in Cotonou and John Zodzi in Lome; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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