Nader Noureddin, a professor of agricultural resources at Cairo University said there are many reasons behind the cotton marketing problem.
The first is that the Ministry of Agriculture refuses to participate in cotton marketing process claiming that the ministry is an authority for production not for marketing.Noureddin
added that the Ministry of Industry and Trade permitted importing cotton from different countries such as Sudan and India, so cotton dealers were inclined to import cotton which is less in price and quality than the Egyptian cotton.The result was that local needs of cotton was almost covered by imported cotton.In addition, Egyptian cotton was not sufficiently promoted in international markets, he
According to Noureddin
, although the World Trade Organisation gives governments the right to protect its local product when it is negatively affected by imports, the government does not take any action to protect the cotton harvest or farmers' rights.
"The government should not permit importing cotton unless local production is sold out, in order to protect farmers' rights," says Noureddin
Moreover, experts are against the cancellation of the Egyptian cotton bourse few months ago, which they say has a clearly negative impact on cotton prices.Noureddin
explained that being a strategic product, cotton needs a bourse to stabilise its prices according to international prices and guarantees farmers' rights."It is unfair that farmers faced big losses this season," Noureddin
said, "agricultural policy should be reconsidered in accordance with the international prices of agricultural products."