Burkina Faso cotton output to rise after discontinuing Monsanto variety
The west African country’s growers after blaming a genetically modified (GM) variety supplied by U.S. seed maker Monsanto for a decline in cotton quality reverted entirely to conventional cotton for the new crop
The country’s agriculture minister Jacob Quedragon on Monday said that due to favorable rainfall to boost cotton output. The 2016-17 harvest, which is expected to total 750,000 tonnes, was showing improved quality as well as production.
Burkina Faso estimates its production of raw cotton for the 2016-17 harvest will rise by 25 percent compared to the previous harvest.
Burkina Faso’s cotton producers had complained that increased levels of short fibers in their GM cotton had impacted its market value, and last April announced they were seeking 48.3 billion CFA francs (USD 78 million) in compensation from Monsanto.
Monsanto has acknowledged changes in cotton fiber length, but argued that fiber quality is also influenced by environmental conditions and that other cotton varieties have shown length variations.
The talks between Burkina’s producers and Monsanto were continuing.