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Ivorian Cotton Crop Cut in Half

FILE: Representative illustration of Avfrican cotton field. Taken Nov. 15, 2008.

Ivory Coast's cotton output for the 2022/23 season is expected to fall by 50% to 269,000 tons due to parasites, Agriculture Minister Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani said on Friday.

A tiny green grasshopper-shaped parasite called "jasside" has infested cotton crops and slashed output forecasts across West Africa for the 2022/23 season.

Minister Adjoumani said that the government would allocate 34.52 billion CFA francs ($57.48 million) to help compensate farmers for their losses.

Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, was among Africa's leading cotton exporters before civil war broke out in 2002. Its cotton sector had been recovering for the past decade after years of political turmoil caused production to plummet.

Speaking of cocoa, earlier this week Ivory Coast officials said the latest crop yield may be less than usual because of drought that has affected growers.