A new scheme to boost Argentina's cotton growers could render imports unnecessary according to a report compiled by the Argentine Cotton Chamber and made public at a recent seminar held in Rosario.

At the moment Argentina brings in 30,000 tons of raw fibre from Brazil alone to feed the demands of its fast growing textile industry.

The suggested scheme would involve sowing a further 500,000 hectares with cotton in 12 of the country's most northerly provinces.

Would-be growers with holdings of fewer than ten hectares would be offered free cotton seed, while the 2,200 growers working farms of 10 to 50 hectares will be offered financial incentives to include cotton crops.

If it reaches fruition, the plan could be responsible for the creation of 100,000 new jobs - not just in agriculture but in the processing of the crop up to completed garment stage.

By Sonia Roberts.