(Ecofin Agency) - Authorities in Senegal are exploring ways to boost the cotton industry after the sector delivered poor performances in recent years. The Agricultural Research Institute (ISRA) unit based in Tambacounda announced it is currently developing new varieties to improve both the productivity and the quality of the fiber.
Djibril Badiane, the Senior Research Fellow at ISRA, told Agence de presse sénégalaise the program seeks to produce new seeds that are more resistant to pests and easier to market. "The cotton industry has been sluggish for a very long time. The fiber is prone to pests and must therefore become more resistant to bio-aggressors for good productivity. The crossing of new varieties resulting from research will boost production in the eastern part of Senegal," Badiane said.
Let’s note that the latest cultivar popularized among farmers is already 20 years old. In Senegal, cotton is grown on about 18,000 hectares by more than 50,000 farmers. It is the country's second-largest cash crop after peanuts.