Dar es Salaam. High global demand pushed up cotton prices by 5.3 per cent in March compared with February, according to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT).
The BoT Monthly Economic Review (MER) for April shows that cotton prices rose to $2.0 per kilo in the year ended March 2019 compared to $1.9 during the corresponding period in 2018.
“The price of cotton rose following higher global demand,” the report says, adding that demand for cotton in major consumers such as the US, India, Pakistan and China has increased markedly.
Similarly, on a monthly basis, cotton prices went up by an average of 3.4 per cent to $1.9 in March 2019 compared with $1.8 in February 2019.
This is being experienced when the government and other crop stakeholders continue to implement various projects aimed at increasing crop yields.
The Ministry of Agriculture has reported that cotton production increased by 8.9 per cent to 132,500 tonnes in 2017/18 compared with 121,600 tonnes in 2016/17.
This happened on account of good weather, steady supply of inputs and new regulations guiding collection and storage of cotton harvests.
Cotton is among the major cash crops grown in Tanzania where it is cultivated on the Mainland only. A total of 381,021 farmers were engaged in growing cotton in the 2016/17 farming season.
The total area planted with cotton was 397,491 hectares.
Simiyu is the country’s largest producer followed by Shinyanga, Geita, Mwanza, Tabora, Mara, Singida and Kagera.