Ethiopia produced 78,000 tons of cotton during last fiscal which ended on July 7, 2012, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
The output is significantly more than previous fiscal’s produce of 18,000 tons, said Isayas Kebede, Director of Agriculture Investment Support and Monitoring with the Ministry.
Over 90 percent of the 71,000 hectares of land allocated to investors during last fiscal, was provided to investors engaged in cotton production, which forms a base for development of the textile industry in the country, Mr. Kebede said.
He said a study is being undertaken for setting up an agricultural economic zone during the current fiscal with the Government developing over 25,000 hectares of land.
He noted that during last fiscal, from its surplus production of several thousand tons, Ethiopia managed to export only 183 tons of cotton, as exports kicked off only after the Government lifted the ban on cotton exports in March 2012.
However, the stringent requirements laid down by the Ministry of Trade and the Textile Development Institute did not allow the country’s cotton exports to soar even after the ban was lifted.
According to a report of the Ministry of Trade, Ethiopia exported around 5.1 million birr worth of cotton to Portugal during 2011-12.