Monday, 14 October 2019

Cotton production

Cotton production

Cotton production expected to increase by 30% in 2018/2019

It is estimated that South Africa will produce a total of 30% more cotton, or a total of 244 650 lint bales, in the 2018/2019 season, due to improved yield. Dryland volumes are expected to increase 33% and irrigated cotton 22% on the previous season’s volumes.

According to Hennie Bruwer, CEO of Cotton South Africa, embarking on sustainable and transparent cotton production in South Africa would enable the cotton industry to connect to offshore supply chains and cater to growing the demand from global consumers for natural fibers.

In this regard, the local cotton industry had grown substantially since the inception of the Sustainable Cotton Cluster (SCC) in 2014, he said. The cluster was made up of cotton farmers, ginners, spinners, fabric producers, manufacturers and retailers, and its establishment had been funded by an initial grant of R200 million from the Department of Trade and Industry. The grant was supporting a five-year plan to establish strong momentum for the growth and development of the Southern African subnational cotton cluster, he said.

The SCC had kick-started awareness of the crop and resulted in an increase in production, exports, and revenue, while imports had decreased, he added. Bruwer said that import volumes had decreased from about 18   000t of lint in 2014 when the SCC was first established to the current level of 12 000t expected for the 2018/2019 season. Exports were also expected to increase to 27   000t in 2018/2019, up from 6 500t in 2014. Export destinations included China and Southeast Asia.

“The price-hedging system has allowed farmers to [receive] favorable prices determined by the rand dollar exchange rate,” he said. Bruwer added that the increased use of genetic modification technology and mechanization had also played a role in increased interest from farmers, especially new entrants. Production had specifically been expanded in former commercial maize farming areas in North West and Limpopo. He said the cluster was working on building integrated supply chains.

“The growth and sustainability of our cotton industry depend on integrated supply chain programs that are driven by retail demand and built on virtual partnerships between supply chain stakeholders. It supports ‘near-sourcing’ and ‘quick response’, and provides for supply chain transparency and stakeholder trust to make our industry competitive,” Bruwer said. 

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