Eastern Africa News Network

Tanzania Cotton Production Nose-Dives

Cotton Production in Tanzania is nose-diving, despite global potential of raw lint.

The country’s cotton harvests plummeted by nearly 65 percent, in the year 2021, according to data released by the Ministry of Agriculture Ministry.

As it happens, Tanzania did experience remarkable bumper cotton production in the two consecutive years between 2019 and 2020 before the current drop.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, the year 2020 saw the highest volume of cotton harvests reaching 348, 910 tons.

Previously in the year 2019 raw lint production in Tanzania was billed at 348, 958 tons a massive increase from the 222,039 tons recorded in the year 2018.

In 2017 the country’s cotton production stood at 132,934 tons which until now was regarded as the lowest output on record.

Mali, is currently the largest cotton grower in Africa producing more than over 700,000 tons in a year.

Cotton farming in Africa is mostly undertaken by smallholder farmers. The continent has very few large plantations.

Top cotton producers in Africa include Mali, Benin, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Tanzania.

In Tanzania cotton is grown around the Lake Victoria Zone, precisely Shinyanga and Bariadi.

The cotton plant needs warmth and humidity in fact farms require about 200 days of sunshine in the season to flourish and bear fruit.

Globally it is India, the United States and China, that maintains the upper hand in cotton production.

India produces an average of 5,770 thousand metric tons of cotton making it the world’s highest producer.

The United States of America is also a major producer and exporter of cotton, yielding 3,999 thousand metric tons of harvests in a year.

Tanzania’s textile industry, which used to add value to cotton production in the 70s and 80s started to fall in the mid 90, further affecting the future of cotton farming.

Tanzania cotton wholesale price.

In 2022, the approximate price range for Tanzania Cotton is between USD 1.56 and USD 1.36 per kilogram or between USD 0.71 and USD 0.62 per pound (lb). The price in Tanzanian shilling is TZS 3618.66 per kg. The average price for a tonne is USD 1556.02 in Mwanza and Dar es Salaam.

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