Cotton in West Africa

The Economic and Social Stakes

image of Cotton in West Africa

In West Africa, approximately 16 million people depend directly or indirectly on cotton cultivation. But subsidies in the developed world have suppressed cotton prices and have made it difficult for West African producers to compete.  Compounding the problem, WTO negotiations on the problem have been suspended.  This publication contends that the dialogue between developed and developing countries on this topic must continue. It sets out the regional stakes linked to the economic and social importance of cotton in West Africa. It retraces the consultation process on the West African cotton crisis with the aim of finding a negotiated solution acceptable to all parties. Also discussed are the challenges and the measures that need to be taken over the medium and long term in order to prevent this sub-sector’s sudden collapse.

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Role of Cotton in Livelihoods and Access to Services

Sahel and West Africa Club

The role of the cotton support system in agricultural innovation processes is illustrated by the cases of Mali and Ghana. In Mali, access to agricultural innovation generally appears to be better in cotton production zones, due to the cotton production support system introduced initially by the colonial administration: providing consistent access to fertiliser, pesticides, extension advice, credits, technology and inputs in a number of countries. 

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