African Country Ditches GE Cotton, Non-GMO Cotton Output Rises 20 Percent
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
Burkina Faso is a Western African country located under Mali.
It also happens to be Africa’s biggest cotton grower, so a gamble on GMOs is a risk for the whole nation.
Although Burkina Faso (BF) did in fact make that gamble already with Monsanto’s genetically engineered cotton variety, but reverting back to non-GMO cotton has garnered greater yields.
An industry official has since stated that the country is seeing output rising by as much as 20 percent to 820,000 metric tons in the 2017-18 season, starting this (next?) month.
Georges Yameogo, general secretary of BF’s cotton association, told reporters on Saturday in the capital, Ouagadougou, that, provided there is favorable rain fall and parasites are kept in check, the cotton output goals are “realistic and achievable.”
The price for the new season was set at 245 CFA Francs ($0.40) a kilogram, up from 235 francs in the previous season, he said. The costs of fertilizers, insecticides and seeds remain unchanged, he said.
Burkina Faso harvested 683,000 tons of cotton in the 2016-17 season, Yameogo said. That’s below the target of 700,000 tons because of a lack of rains in September, he said. But it’s still 17 percent higher than the 586,000 tons harvested in 2015-2016, he said.
Yameogo adds that returning to conventional cotton seeds has allowed BF to “eliminate almost all short fibers.”
BF halted the use of Monsanto’s seeds when farmers found that the short fiber was hurting their reputation and cutting into revenue.
Although the corporate giant claims to offer greater yields and profits, Burkina Faso’s conversion to the original way surprised the country with more bounty.
Heather Callaghan is an independent researcher, writer, speaker and food freedom activist. She is the Editor and co-founder of NaturalBlaze as well as a certified Self-Referencing IITM Practitioner.