Less sticky cotton
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 2006. Less sticky cotton. Spore 122. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48052
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore122.pdf
Sticky cotton is a nightmare for producers, as it is for the entire cotton sector.
Sticky cotton is a nightmare for producers, as it is for the entire cotton sector. Now, a new bacteria-based biological process has been developed and patented, offering hope against this scourge. The technology is already being used in Cameroon and is expected to be extended to the cotton-growing areas of West Africa. Cotton stickiness is caused by the sugary excretion of insects onto cotton flowers. This honeydew, which clogs and damages machinery, also causes fibres to snap, rendering them useless for production. Manufacturers refuse to accept such poor quality cotton, leading to significant losses for producer countries. The new process, the result of a joint initiative between the EC and European manufacturers, involves exploiting the sugar-consuming capacities of certain lactic bacteria. At the ginning stage, before the bales are pressed, the sticky cotton is treated with a solution containing these bacteria. Within 5 to 20 days, the cotton loses its stickiness and can be processed in the normal way, with no adverse impact on either the look or the quality of the fibre. The stakes are high for African cotton growers, who are affected to varying degrees by sticky cotton, depending on the year. Too high a level of sticky cotton can seriously damage a country s image and bar it from the international market.