Egypt’s ‘white gold’ is nothing if not world-renowned, and with demand at an all-time high, the industry is stepping its game up.
Egypt’s industrial sector has definitely seen better days ever since the economy did what it does best, after people realized the pound doesn’t really know how to swim. So in an effort to boost the country’s stagnant economy, and its world-class cotton production, the Ministry of Agriculture has some major plans for the white gold industry; aiming to dramatically increase cultivation, production and export to fit increasingly high demand.
The Ministry plans to dedicate much more land to cotton cultivation; with plans for it to reach 216,000 feddans initially, and up to 400,000 feddans by 2019. Though it might sound like a large expanse, it definitely ought to be that large, if not larger, to suit foreign demand; according to Nabil al-Sanrisi, head of the Egyptian Cotton Exporters Association, Egypt needs to churn out something in the neighbourhood of 2 million quintals (or 200,000 tonnes) of cotton by 2019 in order to make a worthwhile dent on the world market. The cotton industry has been hitting record lows as of 2016; with export values falling by about 4% ever since 2012, so a resurgence for the white gold market needs to see the light of day.
With enough resources and strategic planning by the Ministry, as well as the Cotton Improvement Fund, Egyptian cotton should make a much-needed comeback in the coming few years. Feel like learning more about Egypt's cotton industry and how some ingenious folks are trying to bring it back to life? Check out our SceneArabia's feature on CottonBall.
Photo courtesy of Khaled Desouki / AFP.