Chad

Chad MapChad is known for endless Sahelian expanses. Cotton is crucially important to the national economy, both in terms of income generation for farmers and for export revenue. Cotton accounts for two thirds of total exports from Chad and more than 2 million people (almost 40% of the country's total population) are occupied in the sector. Most cotton farms are still family-owned and operated (with average household size of 5 to 6 people). The average farm size is 1-2 hectares.

Cotton is grown in the southern most part of Chad adjacent to the cotton growing regions of Cameroon. Cotton in Chad is cultivated under rain-fed conditions. Mainly only 2 varieties (A 51, STAM F) of cotton are grown here. The cotton area increased from 270,000 in 1960 to 340,000 in 1978 and thereafter declined to reach 200,000 ha in 1995. The area under cotton cultivation fluctuated during 1995-2005 and has stabilised at about 200,000 hectares. The productivity levels were low at 100 to 200 until 1981, but increased to a range of 250-300 kg/ha lint during 1982-2009. Cotton production in Chad has always been in the range of 40,000 to 70,000 metric tonnes, with exceptions of 80,000 to 100,000 tonnes in 1996, 1997 and 2004. About 98% of the cotton produced in Chad is exported, mainly to France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, and Spain.

The insect problems on cotton are mainly bollworms and whiteflies, which are very severe. Soils are highly unfertile and fertilizers are generally not available.

The Chadian cotton industry exhibits a structure of vertical integration, dominated by Coton-Chad, the only cotton processing company largely owned by the Chadian state (75%) and DAGRIS (19%). The local banking sector accounts for the residual 6%. Coton-Chad provides farm inputs to farmers on credit and manages the distribution of such inputs; purchases, collects and transports seed-cotton from the villages to its cotton ginneries; gins the seed-cotton, and commercialises the lint. The producer price for seed-cotton is set each year by a committee consisting of representatives of farmers and Coton Chad.

The biggest problem for cotton growers is transport and communication infrastructure. Nine ginning factories are active in the South of the country (Sahr, Koumra, Moundou, Kelo, Gounou- Gaya, Léré, Pala, and Kyabe). Besides, Chad has installed capacity with respect to cottonseed processing activities, particularly oil and soap mills. The oil and soap marketing segments of Coton Chad were re-organised in 2003 as part of a broader reform program under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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