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About Egyptian Cotton
By Eng. Dr. Mahmoud El Bagoury

Egyptian cotton is a strategic crop with a rich history as it is considered the main pillar for Egyptian national economy along the years, moreover it is a strong competitor in international markets for its superior quality, physical and spinning properties, therefore it is renowned globally for its long and extra-long staple.

Egyptian cotton is currently facing many problems and challenges that has affected it recently and led to a significant decline in production volume for years to reach approximately two million kantars of lint cotton.
It should help farmers to modernise farming, improve per acre yield and cultivate new varieties of fruits and vegetables.

These factors led to a decline in cotton planting areas and consequently a decline in production volume, handling cotton and it's share in national and international markets, that encouraging other countries to produce these long and extra long varieties and increasing planting areas such as India, china and others, furthermore the extension in US. Pima cotton planting areas and presences of production subsidy program, the reduction in Egyptian cotton production is reflected by an increase in American Pima as a result of the subsidies from their government for all concerned parties.

Therefore Egyptian cotton is in need for all cotton sector parties effort to regain its status among the world cotton varieties and it's balance in both national and international markets through state's role represented in governmental and researchable sectors, Namely the Ministry of Agriculture and it's research institutes especially Cotton Research Institute.

The effective role in improving the Egyptian cotton can achieve the best returns for the producer through the availability of production technology which suits the Egyptian cotton nature, as it helps in increasing yields and achieving the best returns to ensure the continuity of cotton planting and competition. In addition To, strengthen the relationship between production research ,agriculture extension and producers so as to benefit from the best results of cotton planting to increase cotton returns significantly.

The availability of in-kind subsidy for producer through the contribution of the state and agriculture cooperatives to help the producers in different ways. Maintaining planting seeds and it's marketing should be supervised by cooperatives to keep the purity of lines and varieties and protect it from mixing and deterioration in order to achieve the best Egyptian cotton properties and production.

The breeding of new varieties with high yielding , quality properties, crop efficiency and short life cycle through transferring the genes is responsible for increasing yield ,early maturity ,drought resistance, salinity, pest infection and other factors that help s in expanding cotton planting in Egypt.

 

Besides, conducting experiments concerning biotechnology cotton to reduce pest and weeds resistance costs aiming to an increase in production, improving cotton returns and protecting the environment from contamination. Producers' Role in Protecting Cotton: Planting cotton in its adequate period, performing the suitable cultural practices to gain the best yield and returns. Cotton cleanliness and improving its grade that leads to the tendency of importers for the

Egyptian cotton by taking care of harvesting process and avoiding using plastic sacs to preserve cotton from contamination. Avoid using sacs sewed by nylon and sisal in order to protect cotton from contamination to increase the demand of Egyptian cotton.

These factors contribute in increasing producers' income. Cotton Marketing, Trading and Exporting: The encouragement of cotton trading through providing protection systems in order to maintain the continuity of the activities that the Egyptian government ensure by the concerned ministries, in addition to activating the role of the Organizing Committee for Upcountry Cotton Trade, the Holding Company for Cotton and Cotton Trade and Exporting Companies in regulating cotton marketing and establishing a minimum support price system based on indications that reflect the market situation and international prices taking into consideration the production costs.

The early announcement for such prices before every planting season, determining the planting area according to the needs of local mills, export demand for international markets and set the price differences for various grades aiming to obtain cotton with different qualities to fulfill the export and local market needs.

Moreover, the role of Alexandria Cotton Exporters' Association through promoting Egyptian cotton, finding new destinations for exports and settling a future policy, this is in cooperation with the Egypt Cotton Association which is responsible for promoting the Egyptian cotton logo through fashion houses and international brands to use it in their industries and presented them through international exhibition which help in the wide spread of the Egyptian cotton.

 

There is an effective role regarding ministries concerned in investments through the attraction of new investments in the field of spinning and weaving long and extra long staple cotton in order to produce yarns with high count which are used in fabric and textile industry with high qualities used in garments industry in new free and industrial zones which encourages the expanding of planting the Egyptian cotton to meet industrial and export demand. This besides CATGO's role through monitoring and supervising for preventing all forms of mixing varieties or grades, deterioration and contamination during the handling of seed cotton in ginneries and monitoring of lint cotton during ginning and pressing in homogenous lots; and testing the technical and physical properties HVI instruments to meet the spinners' needs inside and outside Egypt.

CATGO's Responsibility is to Achieve Three Main Goals: First: Maintaining the purity of the Egyptian cotton varieties, preventing all forms of mixing varieties or grades and protecting its superior properties. Second: controlling and supervising all cotton handling processes starting from picking, its delivery to marketing rings in all rural areas in producing governorates till its delivery to local spinning mills or export aiming to keep its quality increasing the degree of homogeneity within lots, preventing all forms of mixing and contamination through the work of CATGO's classers in Alexandria and all cotton producing governorates.

Third: Offering technical services to all dealing parties in both seed and lint cotton during all handling stages, and issuing locally and internationally recognized certificates for classing, fiber testing and moisture regain percentage. CATGO aims to develop its labs by introducing the new generation of (HVI) and it's currently under going to acquisition of ISO certificate (17025) for its fiber testing labs and also moisture testing labs as CATGO plans to improve its performance to be in harmony with the international trends and the international testing system in measuring the technical properties by using the bale/bale system through HVI instruments ;moreover ,issuing quality certificate for each bale.

The future studies and forecasts of local and international markets in addition to their needs from Egyptian cotton helps in setting a strategy for production and export with the availability of strategic stock so as to achieve the safety for the Egyptian cotton markets, to put the Egyptian cotton in its normal position among the world cotton verities.

Eng. Dr. Mahmoud El Bagoury
Chairman COTTON ARBITRATION AND TESTING GENERAL ORGANIZATION
Courtesy: Pakistan Cotton

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