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Egypt’s long-staple cotton faces threat of going unsold

There is a threat of Egyptian cotton going unsold despite 2 million metric quintals of high quality crops. Based on traders’ optimism, the country planted 336,000 feddans of long-staple cotton this year—up from 220,000 feddans in 2017—but agricultural firms have refused to clinch deals with the government and farmers due to a hike in interest rates and costs.

Traders were expecting a rise in exports of up to 45 per cent in 2018-19.

Any contract made after the harvest of the crop is to be signed with a license from the ministry of agriculture for the extraction and conservation of seeds.

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As the ministry has fixed a cost of EGP 2,500 per quintal for crops from Upper Egypt and EGP 2,700 for crops from the Nile Delta governorates, private agricultural companies have started importing cotton at much lower costs.

Therefore, the Egyptian cooperative farming society for producing cotton recently written to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, agricultural minister Ezz El-Din Abu Steit and the Central Bank governor Tarek Amer seeking help in marketing plans for the 2018-19 season, according to an Egyptian newspaper report.

Agricultural ministry spokesperson Hamed Abdel-Dayem has admitted the crisis on television. He said there will be a huge problem next year in the cultivated cotton area if the crisis remains unsolved.

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