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Saturday 15 Rabīʿ I 1442 - 31/10/2020 1:21 PM
Clarification In response to the article published in "The New Yorker" titled "the end of Egyptian cotton"

In response to the article published in "The New Yorker" on 27 February 2020, titled "the end of Egyptian cotton", Engineer Mohamed Khedr replied as follows
  1.   According to the paragraph which states that: "Egyptian cotton, much like the rest of Egypt, was in quiet decline. When the government liberalized the cotton sector, it also stopped subsidizing cotton farmers directly and left private companies to trade in cotton seeds freely. “There were no procedures to monitor those companies,” Mohammed Khedr, the head of the Cotton Arbitration & Testing General Organization (CATGO), told me ".
Engineer Mohamed Khedr reply was:
After the elimination of cooperative marketing, the propagation varieties were the only source of cotton seeds.
These seeds have been traded through cotton trading companies only under the supervision of ministry of agriculture, and never traded through private companies.
So far, The Ministry of Agriculture has been responsible for identifying cotton cultivation areas.
The government enacted a law no. 4 of 2015, which states that cotton propagation varieties are traded only through the Ministry of Agriculture to protect cotton from mixing and contamination. As a result, this procedure has a vital role in maintaining cotton varieties and their superior technological properties and retrieving its renowned position

2) According to the paragraph which states that: In this context, the health of the country’s cotton was further ignored. The best cotton plants are a hybrid of different species selected for particular qualities.
Engineer Mohamed Khedr reply was:
Giza 88 is not cultivated any more. The breeders of Cotton Research Institute improved Giza 86 by cultivating new lines 14/15 on 528 feddans in two villages in Dessouk, Kafr El Sheikh Governorate. This helped in restoring its standardized properties. The main reason for deterioration was mixing varieties through intermediaries who did not care about strains during the security chaos after 2011 revolution.
3) According to the paragraph which states that: "Long-staple cotton grown in Upper Egypt is considered by some traders to be not very long, after all.) Among them are such prized varieties as Giza 86, considered by traders to be “the bread and butter” of Egyptian cottons, and Giza 45, which has the longest staple".
Engineer Mohamed Khedr reply was:
As government is concerned with developing new varieties, The Ministry of Agriculture cultivated the long staple variety Giza 95 in Upper Egypt, and long staple variety Giza 94 and the extra long staple variety Giza 96 in Lower Egypt.
These varieties have a good global reputation with physical properties needed by producers, traders and spinners. Giza 45 is cultivated through contract farming in Damietta Governorate.
4) According to the paragraph which states that: By 2013, the cotton harvest was turning out so poorly that Khedr stopped going to the classing facilities. “I wouldn’t go down to supervise the agents because, really, we’d tell them, ‘The cotton you see in front of you is not Egyptian cotton,’ ” he said. “ ‘It’s nothing at all.’ ”
Engineer Mohamed Khedr reply was:
In season 2013/2014, the properties of Giza 86 deteriorated, which previously had represented 60% of the cultivated area.
This deterioration was due to mixing varieties in the period of security chaos.
As mentioned before, Recently Giza 86 was fully purified to restore its renowned position.
5) According to the paragraph which states that: Egyptian cotton continues to be picked by hand, to protect the cotton clumps from injury. “It explains child labor,” Mona Abaza, a professor at the American University in Cairo, whose family amassed great wealth through cotton, told Smithsonian. “It was very exploitative and is hard to look back at with any sentimentality.” The school year has historically started after the harvest season, to encourage attendance.
Engineer Mohamed Khedr reply was:
Children are never exploited in picking cotton; they were only helping their families, without any pressure from the government, and concerning delaying the beginning of the school year for that purpose, which had ended 30 years ago.
6) According to the paragraph which states that: in 2015, frustrated by the increasing irrelevance of his job, a sampling agent from Egypt’s CATGO approached the Giza Research Institute—the organization responsible for seed research—and said, “ ‘Listen, guys, we’ve got to save whatever we can save,’ ” Khedr told me. Together with the Giza Institute, Khedr’s colleagues tried to save seeds that weren’t too damaged; they repeatedly replanted them, selecting for desired properties, until they were fully revived.
Engineer Mohamed Khedr reply was:
Cotton Research Institute was responsible for the process of purification of Giza 86 with the assistance of CATGO, where CATGO is not responsible for any purification processes.
7) According to the paragraph which states that: After the cotton was picked, cotton traders roundly ignored the indicative prices. Farmers’ profits plummeted. In 2019, they were naturally reluctant to grow cotton, and the area of cotton planted was reduced by nearly half.
Engineer Mohamed Khedr reply was:
The decrease in the planted area is a response of lower world prices.
8) According to the paragraph which states that: In the past twenty-five years, the government has directly subsidized cotton farmers only once. “Its ad hoc". Khedr said, shaking his head. “We subsidize cotton a couple of times, and never in the right times.” Nassar interrupted.
Engineer Mohamed Khedr reply was:
Cotton is eligible for subsidies programs in all countries all over the world, but previously Egypt supported cotton which has ended recently

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