Burundi Eco Towards the revitalization of the cotton sector

Despite a multitude of challenges facing COGERCO, this company remains at work to reverse the trend. It has implemented a strategy to revitalize the cotton sector. It expects to achieve a production of 12,000 tons of cotton fiber on 10,000 ha. It is in this sense that it will succeed in satisfying both national and international demand.

A revitalization document for this sector has been drawn up and validated to guide COGERCO, the government and its partners in reviving this company.

COGERCO wants to increase cotton production in order to meet demand. As indicated on Monday June 5, 2023 Gustave Majambere, general manager of this company in a press conference, COGERCO wishes to reach a production of 12,000 tons of cotton fiber.

To achieve this, it intends to extend its cotton area to 10,000 ha. “It is in this sense that it will succeed in satisfying its potential client, which is Afritextile”, points out Majambere..

To win the bet, Majambere informs that a document for the revitalization of this sector has been drawn up and validated to guide COGERCO, the government and its partners in the revival of this company. This document outlines the activities to be carried out. “We are also in the process of connecting cotton farmers’ cooperatives to bankers to enable them to access credit. In this sense, they will manage to stock up on fertilizers and sow seeds on time.“, he confides.

In addition, Majambere says that the government will analyze whether it can increase the price of cotton per kg to motivate cotton growers much more. Currently, this price is set at FBu 900 per kg. COGERCO also plans to acquire its own cotton fields.

And according to him, a lot of challenges mean that COGERCO does not evolve. Among the causes of the decrease in areas reserved for cotton cultivation is the despoliation of cotton areas by people who have illegally allocated land to themselves.

Other lands were allocated by the authorities who had the prerogatives but, unfortunately, these areas were not used for the reasons for which they had been requested, indicated the director general of COGERCO in the columns of Burundi Eco. the last days.

Added to this is the demographic pressure which has caused some households to acquire land in the cotton reserves. ” The population has increased sharply. This increase should go hand in hand with the demand of the population in terms of food. The area formerly allocated to cotton was subsequently used for the production of food crops which are directly consumable by the population,” he laments.

The general manager of COGERCO also mentions the low mechanization of cotton growing. COGERCO faces the lack of tractors, essential tools in cotton production. In the past, COGERCO had a lot of tractors and could work a large area, but currently, this company no longer has any. For Gustave Majambere, even the small cotton area that is currently available is not fully exploited due to lack of tractors. So there is no possibility of plowing by mechanization and the use of the population who uses the hoe proves to be necessary.

COGERCO does not fold its arms

Despite all these challenges, Majambere suggests that COGERCO is not sitting still. It is still working to boost production. During the Cotton 2022-2023 campaign, we used 3100 ha and reached a production of 1500 tons of seed cotton against a forecast of 1800 tons. During the Cotton 2020-2021 campaign, the production of this company was 1,010 tonnes of seed cotton (67%) over an area of ​​2,000 ha against a forecast of 1,500 tonnes over an area of ​​2,500 ha. And during the 2021-2022 cotton campaign, the expected production was 2,400 tonnes over 3,000 ha.

Despite this situation, COGERCO data show that the cotton area was vast around the 1990s. It fell from 8,491 hectares in 1993 to 2,481 hectares in 2020 and production followed the same downward curve from 8,813 tons in 1993 to 763 tons in 2020. And in the 1980s, cotton was the third industrial crop among the three products that Burundi exported, after coffee and tea. He was bringing in foreign currency but, currently, she is not even managing to satisfy Afritextile (the only company that specializes in the manufacture of fabrics, loincloths and hand towels). The latter is also obliged to obtain supplies abroad to cover the necessary quantity.

Note that cotton cultivation was introduced in Burundi in 1920.


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