BUJUMBURA June 6th (ABP) – The general manager of the cotton management company (COGERCO), Mr. Gustave Majambere, said during a press conference held on Monday, June 5, 2023, for media professionals, that COGERCO is in its revitalization phase.
According to him, the revitalization process began with the adoption by the government in 2019 of the national strategy for the revitalization of the cotton-textile-clothing sector in Burundi 2019-2027. The adoption of that strategic document was followed by the establishment, by the Prime Minister of the Republic, of a steering committee for the strategy and a committee for monitoring its implementation.
Mr. Majambere said that for the 2022-2023 campaign, it was planned to cultivate on an area of 3500 hectares and produce 1800 tons of seed cotton, but unfortunately, that area has not been reached following various constraints that have been observed, in particular the floods in some cotton reserves, especially in Gatumba and Kigaramango, lack of fertilizers, some cotton growers who do not weed the fields in time.
He indicated that they were able to cultivate on an area of 3100 hectares, with an estimated production based on the capsular count of 1500 tons of seed cotton.
He further indicated that for the 2023-2024 campaign, COGERCO plans to cultivate on an area of 5,500 hectares, with an expected production of 3,000 tons of seed cotton. To achieve these forecasts and accelerate the revitalization process, they will, among other things, carry out irrigation studies to deal with the effects of climate change, carry out research and investments through public and private partnership, link cooperatives of cotton growers with financial or micro-finance institutions to facilitate access to loans. It will also be necessary to build the capacities of the members of the cotton-growers’ cooperatives and to initiate COGERCO’s own fields because this company has never had its own fields, apart from the small test fields and the State lands reserved for cotton cultivation.
Currently, he pointed out, the cotton growers have teamed up into cooperatives and exchange State land to be harnessed on the basis of annual contracts.
To work more successfully, the general manager of the said company asked stakeholders in the cotton-textile-clothing sector to support the government’s efforts to revitalize cotton production through concrete actions. He also asked the COGERCO supervisors to provide local and quality supervision and the administration to support the steering committee in finding land for the extension.
The cotton-growers are called upon to follow the advice of the supervisors and to respect the technical course as well as the calendars.
He did not fail, moreover, to ask the ministry in charge of agriculture to proceed with the effective allocation of land already identified by the steering committee.