Mali, a land-locked country in West Africa, is expecting record cotton output of around 800,000 tonnes during the ongoing season 2019-20, according to the Ministry of agriculture. This would be about 22 per cent higher than 656,548 tonnes produced in the previous season that ended March this year. Mali is currently second-largest cotton producer in Africa. The Ministry expects boost in cotton production due to growth in area under cotton cultivation, forecast of good rainfall, and rising prices of the commodity, report said.

Last season, Mali missed its target of producing 750,000 tonnes of cotton due to heavy rains which flooded several plantations, according to the state-owned Malian Company for the Development of Textiles (CMDT). Cotton is the second-largest export product for Mali after gold, and about 3.5 mn Malians depend directly on the cotton sector for their livelihood.

The Government of Mali had planned way back in 2013 to nearly double the country’s cotton production to 800,000 tonnes in 2017-18 from the 445,314 tonnes produced in 2011-12. However, Mali did not achieve the planned target. CMDT was created by the Malian Government in 1974 to oversee the production and marketing of cotton. It is based in Bamako and has several production sites throughout the country, in particular at Koutiala and Fana. It is the lead company that buys cotton from farmers and exports it to other countries.