Ivory Coast cotton output to fall 50% in 2022/23, says minister

- PHOTO TAKEN 08DEC05 - Lefara Soro, 33, (L) and his son harvest cotton in the Korhogo region in nor..
Farmers harvest cotton in the Korhogo region in northern Ivory Coast, File.

ABIDJAN, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast's cotton output for the 2022/23 season is expected to fall by 50% to 269,000 tonnes due to parasites, Agriculture Minister Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani said on Friday.

A tiny green grasshopper-shaped parasite called "jasside" has infested cotton crops and slashed output forecasts across West Africa for the 2022/23 season.

Adjoumani said that the government would allocate 34.52 billion CFA francs ($57.48 million) to help compensate farmers for their losses.

Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, was among Africa's leading cotton exporters before civil war broke out in 2002. Its cotton sector had been recovering for the past decade after years of political turmoil caused production to plummet.

The minister added that the 2023 farmgate price for cashew nuts has been set at 315 CFA francs ($0.5245) per kg, up from 305 CFA francs in 2022.

Ivory Coast cashew nut output rose 6% to 1,028,172 tonnes in 2022 due to good weather conditions.

It is expected to reach 1,050,000 tons in 2023, Adjoumani said. Ivory Coast has in recent years become the world's top cashew producer.

($1 = 600.5900 CFA francs)

Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly Writing by Anait Miridzhanian Editing by Alexander Winning and Sharon Singleton

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