HC Deb 18 November 1957 vol 578 cc8-9W
Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what efforts are being made by the Uganda Agricultural Department to encourage the improvement in quality of the cotton crop now necessary to maintain export markets; and in particular to secure an even-running staple and grade for the ginneries.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The Agricultural Department, the Empire Cotton-Growing Corporation and the Lint Marketing Board all co-operate in measures to improve the quality of Uganda cotton.

At the Empire Cotton Growing Corporation's research station in Uganda new strains of B.P.52 cotton have been bred which produce a higher quality yarn, and replacement of former varieties by these improved strains should be completed in the 1958–59 season. In those areas of Uganda with a harsher climate where S.47 cotton is grown, existing varieties will have been replaced by improved strains with superior spinning qualities by the 1959–60 season.

The Agricultural Department treats cotton-seed issued for planting against disease and supervises the buying of raw cotton to prevent the mixing of different grades.

The Lint Marketing Board encourages better ginning by the operation of the lint quality incentive scheme and by regular inspection of ginneries.

An even-running staple is of advantage to the spinning industry rather than to ginneries, and plant breeders in Uganda aim to improve evenness of staples. Unevenness in staple length is also reduced by dividing cotton producing areas into zones, thereby ensuring that cotton grown under differing climatic conditions is processed separately.

A Cotton Advisory Committee, which draws on all available technical knowledge, ensures that every effort is made to sustain improvement in quality.

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