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Côte d'Ivoire cotton output continues post-conflict recovery

Côte dIvoire expects to beat its 2011/12 cotton harvest of 260,000 tonnes to achieve about 340,000 tonnes in the 2012/13 harvest

According to a Reuters report, subsidised fertiliser and firm prices have been among the incentives that have led farmers to increase planting and production within the cotton sector.

Côte d'Ivoire has been gradually working its way back to the 400,000 tonnes per year it achieved prior to the outbreak of civil war 10 years ago, with the worst of the conflict finally coming to an end with the election of a new government in 2011.

Recently renewed political tensions and localised armed violence, however, could yet endanger the country's recovery in important sectors such as cotton and cocoa.

A number of schemes and initiatives have been taking place across the continent to promote African-produced cotton, with Zimbabwe being the latest country to sign up to the Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) initiative.

Zimbabwe joined six other project countries - Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique - on the project, which has targeted improvement in the living conditions of smallholder farmers through trade.

In 2011, close to 15 million textiles made of CmiA cotton entered the market, which programme directors have said they expect to increase to 20 million units for this year.