Cotton Agreements Secured Feb04

This week, Bashir Khanbhai MEP, Conservative ACP Spokesman in the European Parliament, has been chairing meetings of the 77 ACP countries and their European Parliament counterparts in Addis Ababa.


Cotton and commodity agreements have been secured at the talks to ensure appropriate measures to protect ACP countries dependent on banana, sugar, rice and cotton exports.


Speaking from Addis, Mr. Khanbhai said:


"This week we have succeeded in pushing the European Commission to launch an action plan to help ACP cotton producers that allows for compensation for loss of income resulting in depressed cotton prices owing to overproduction in the US and China.


"Although the European Union supports its Greek and Spanish cotton farmers, the EU is a net importer of cotton overall. The problems faced by Western and Central African cotton growing countries have been precipitated by the US and China subsidising their farmers and exporting huge quantities world-wide, thereby suppressing prices.


"I have also been driving the agenda at these meetings, to ensure the EU and ACP countries develop better management of the global cotton market."