Ousmane N. Traore (L) and Bonaventure KOUAKANOU(R)

"Cotton is the backbone of the economy of most of our countries, but can it be otherwise when we know that cotton is one of the first export products of our countries, a major purveyor of our national economies, the main source of monetary income for our populations, a real tool for combating poverty, not to mention the training effect it has on other agricultural speculations and its induced effects in terms of industrialization, infrastructure, education, employment and monetary income injected into rural and urban areas," praised Mr. KOUAKANOU.

Ousmane N. Traore, Production Director of Malian Textile Development Company (CMDT) and Chairman of the PR-PICA Steering Committee, emphasized that the Benin meeting is meant to be a forum for the exchange of results from research and development of the sector under the 2018-2019 campaign.

"It will mark a decisive turning point for the program in terms of formalizing its approach to deal with the problems of cotton production in a global way through the major axes that are the variety selection, agronomy and anthropology that will be purpose of communications," he said.

Ousmane Traore recognizes that despite the endogenous reforms already undertaken at the cost of heavy efforts, much remains to be done to improve the competitiveness of the sector.

"This is particularly the extension of cotton varieties more suitable and meeting the requirements imposed by the fiber market. Restoration of soil fertility, the efficient management of various hazards," he revealed.

He welcomed, however, "the interesting results obtained in managing the resistance of some pests, the development and follow-up of recommendations for alternative products, the development of a practical guide for the protection of cotton in Africa, capacity of agricultural advisers."

For three days, cotton companies, inter-professional organizations, research institutions, technical and financial partners will have to present the situation of their country, identify and propose avenues for future challenges in the sector.

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