Togo set to re-launch its cotton industry
Togo’s cotton sector, which was once thriving, is now struggling.
The government, on the other hand, seeks to resuscitate this important industry, notably through recent privatization and industrialization measures aimed at turning “white gold” into a legitimate source of revenue and jobs for the country.
Despite optimistic projections, Togo suffered a major setback in the 2020-2021 season, producing only 67,000 tons of cotton, a significant decline of 43% from the previous year (116,000 tons).
Simféitchéou Pré, chairman of the board of directors of the New Cotton Company of Togo (NSCT), explained the low results at a news conference in mid-June, citing “poor quality of cotton seed” and “floods in the north of the country” as reasons.
However, the decline in seed cotton prices (from 265 to 225 FCFA/kg) has prompted many farmers to switch to other crops like as maize and soybeans.
“During the previous season, at least 40,000 cotton farmers out of 153,000 abandoned their crop,” Koussouwè Kourouféi, president of the National Federation of Cotton Producers’ Groups, said (FNGPC).
The “white gold,” as it is known in the West African region, accounts for only 1 to 4.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs about 500,000 people out of an 8 million-strong population.