Colombia - Cotton seed piracy reaches 30%
Jul. 28, 2020
At the start of the second period of cotton planting in 2020, the Colombian Association of Seeds and Biotechnology (Acosemillas) issued an alert about the increasing piracy in base inputs for this crop.
The cotton seeding season of the second semester takes place in at least seven regions of the country, which are Córdoba, Cesar, Bolívar, Sucre, La Guajira, Antioquia and Vichada. Some 47% of the country's cotton production is concentrated in these regions.
Leonardo Ariza (General Manager of Acosemillas) warned, “Vulnerability to pests is one of the damage that the piracy of cotton seeds causes, and it is a crop on which hundreds of families still depend on through earning their income from this activity, especially on the Caribbean Coast. Poor quality seeds represent an economic risk for producers."
"The use of certified seeds will help raise profit margins in cotton production, while reducing the costs associated with controlling pests, weeds and diseases," he added.
The number of cotton producers in the last ten years has dramatically decreased. According to Conalgodón’s figures, in 2010, a total of 3,856 farmers engaged in this activity, but at the end of 2019, this figure fell to just 805 growers, of which 369 are on the Caribbean Coast.
However, cotton cultivation has grown in terms of proportion of hectares per farmer from 13 to 28 hectares, reflecting the efforts of growers to improve their productivity.
In this context, Acosemillas called on producers to make use of good quality seeds during the second planting season of the year, so the product can become established in the national market and to open new export fronts.
The union has been working together with the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) to promote the use of certified seeds that meet sanitary standards.
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