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Mali to promote cotton trade

The Malian government has adopted a policy to support the cotton sector, defining the guidelines for the promotion of the sector under mar k et reforms undertaken recently in the country, PANA learnt from official sources here Monday.

Considered as the first major document adopted in this regard, the policy encour ages greater participation of cotton growers in the cotton chain, the disengagem e nt of the Malian Company for the Development of Textiles (CMDT) from activities n ot directly related to cotton and the privatization of the Malian oil and cotton – producing company.

A source close to the sector said all the measures would lead to encouraging new private investors and the transition to a new competitive management style, whi l e the role of the government would be to ensure compliance.

The policy stems from the national strategic framework for the development of th e cotton sector and is based on the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategic Frame w ork (GPRSF) for 2007-2011, the Agricultural Orientation Law (IOA) and the econom i c and social development project.

The Malian cotton sector has been experiencing, since the late 1990s, a major cr isis caused mainly by the falling world cotton prices and fluctuations in exchan g e rates.

According to a forecast of the Malian Ministry of Agriculture, the country expec ts a production of 300,000 tonnes of cotton during the 2010-2011 planting season .

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