BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali will miss this year’s cotton production target of 650,000 tonnes as late rains in the Sahel region have struck the start of the harvest, the head of the state-owned CMDT cotton company said on Monday.
Kalfa Sanogo said the heavy rains were damaging stocks of picked fibre and cotton still in the fields. The cotton harvest began last week in the West African country, which ranks as Africa’s second-largest producer behind Burkina Faso.
Mali had targeted production of 650,000 tonnes of raw cotton for the 2015-2016 season, up from output of roughly 550,000 tonnes the previous year.
“We have a serious problem: the rains are continuing at a time when they should stop,” Sanogo told Reuters. “The forecast of 650,000 tonnes will be revised down.”
He declined to provide a revised forecast for national production.