via Zim in top 10 on cotton output | The Herald February 20, 2015 by Tinashe Kairiza
Zimbabwe is among Africa’s 10 largest cotton producing countries despite a dwindling land area put under the crop due to falling global prices, a latest report shows. The report, released by Index Mundi, a global commodity brokerage portal, ranks Zimbabwe on number 9 among cotton producing countries on the continent. On a scale of 192 top cotton producers in the world, Zimbabwe is ranked number 27.
According to the report, the southern African country produced 112 554 metric tonnes of lint (processed cotton) in 2014.
Burkina Faso, one of the first African countries to allow production of genetically modified cotton is the continent’s top producer with an output of 585 280 metric tonnes in the same period.
The West African country sits on position 11 in the world.
India, with an output of 13956 696 metric tonnes in 2014, remains the world’s largest cotton producer. But farmers in the Asian country are also downsizing their cotton fields due to lower market prices.
The International Cotton Advisory Committee has since projected that world cotton output would drop six percent to about 25 million metric tonnes in 2016 as farmers shift focus to crops such as maize and soy whose prices are now firming.
Global cotton hectarage is also expected to tumble six percent next season due to persistently lower prices on the global market.
In Zimbabwe, tobacco, whose prices are rallying on the local auction market now flourish on vast swathes of land traditionally reserved for the “white gold”.
Contracting firms who finance about 99 percent of the country’s cotton output are also ditching the crop due to falling prices.