Sunday, January 25, 2004

Egypt: cotton harvest

Fascinating overview of the Egyptian cotton industry. This year's cotton harvest is the lowest in 20 years because farmers switched to other commodities due to the low price of cotton (minimum price is set by the state).
Up until a few years ago, the government required farmers to set aside a third of their crop space for cotton. But today, they are free to grow what they want, says El-Giar.

Meanwhile, the amount of land devoted to cotton cultivation has shrunk from 2 million acres in decades past to less than 750,000 acres today. New mills, seeds, technology, and insecticides have helped maintain similar yields, but the lack of government quotas have made production levels unpredictable.