Seed cotton price up 43.3%

The price of seed cotton has gone up by 43.3 per cent as the government seeks to revamp the sector and make it a major income earner for farmers.

The price of one kilogram of seed cotton for the 2011/12 season will be GHp86, up from GHp60, a statement signed by Mr Maurice Tanco Abisa-Seidu, Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said on Thursday.

The statement dated April 13, 2011, said the new price was agreed on during a two-day stakeholders’ forum on the cotton sector organized by the Ministries of Food and Agriculture and Trade and Industry, to discuss a pricing mechanism and the price of seed cotton for the 2011/12 season.

“This seed cotton price is the highest in the West African sub-region. This increase in price is consistent with Government’s policy of revamping the cotton sector and responding to the poverty reduction aspirations of Government.”

The stakeholders at the forum were the officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Agricultural Development bank, World Bank, Cotton Farmers Division of the General Agricultural Workers Union, Ghana Cotton Company Limited and the three companies licensed to produce cotton in the country, namely OLAM Ghana Limited, Wienco Ghana Limited and Armajaro Ghana Limited.

He said “The Ministries wish to emphasise that it is in the interest of farmers and the objective of revamping the sector to limit registration of farmers for cotton production to only three companies licensed to produce cotton.”

Officials say Ghana can produce some 250,000 tons of lint cotton in the medium term and this could involve some 500,000 farmers.

The cotton revitalisation programme, dubbed the White Gold, sees the sector as a major source of employment and income generation just as cocoa, the major foreign exchange earner.

According to officials, the government, in collaboration with the World Bank and the African Development Bank, had put in measures to revive the industry.

There would be funds for the industry, guaranteed producer price and a zoning system for effective supervision.

The three zones are North East, North West and North Central.

Source: GNA

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