ABIDJAN, May 24 (Reuters) -Ivory Coast's 2023/24 cotton output will jump almost 70% from the previous season which was hit by a parasite, the agriculture minister Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani said on Wednesday.
The sector forecast output would pick up to 400,000 tonnes from 236,183 tonnes in 2022/23, Kouassi Adjoumani told a press conference.
A tiny green grasshopper-shaped parasite called "jasside" has infested cotton crops and slashed output forecasts across West Africa for the 2022/23 season.
The minister said because of the parasite, the previous season was able to yield only 574 kg per hectare compared to 1,400 kg per hectare in 2021/22.
He added that sowing for 2023/24 will start late this month with the first rains and that 400,000 hectares will be planted by Ivorian farmers, who typically see yields of around one tonne per hectare.
The 2023/24 farmgate price has been set at 310 CFA francs ($0.5246) per kg, unchanged from last year. Kouassi Adjoumani also said the government will subsidize input costs for the new campaign.
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 has been recovering for the past decade after years of political turmoil caused production to plummet.
($1 = 590.9500 CFA francs)
Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly;
Editing by Anait Miridzhanian and Nick Zieminski