In 2020, Mali recorded a sharp 75% drop in cotton production due to falling global demand and rising fertilizer prices. After planting only 165,000 hectares in 2020/2021, producers will resume production of white gold by cultivating an area of 795,000 hectares for the 2021/2022 season.
A year of slump
In Mali, cotton is a source of income for 4 million people. On the one hand, the sector generates 14% of the country’s GDP. However, producers are demotivated to grow cotton in the year 2020 due to the drop in global demand, especially China with a 30% drop. At the same time, the purchase price guaranteed by the Malian state has dropped by 200 FCFA per kilo for the 2020/2021 campaign. Compared to the 2019/2020 season, it is 275 FCFA per kilo.
For the 2021/2022 season, producers are remotivating for cotton farming. According to estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Mali’s cotton production is expected to increase by 387% to 1.46 million bales for this season. This compares to a production volume of 300,000 bales in the previous season. This increase is due to the expansion of the sector’s cultivation area. That is to say an area of 795,000 hectares in the campaign 2021/2022 compared to 165,000 hectares in 2020/2021. Following the recovery of world demand, Malian exports should also increase by 62%, or 1.43 million bales. At the same time, the producer price is increasing by 280 FCFA per kilo for this season.
With such an increase, Mali would become the second largest producer in Africa, surpassing Ivory Coast.
Ny Fenitra S.M
Photo credit: RFI