Booming Cotton No Boon to African Farmers

Any loss of cotton profits cuts deep in the rural and often impoverished villages of west and central Africa, where the livelihood of about 10 million people depends on the fiber. About 3 million of them are in Burkina Faso, a landlocked country where one out of six citizens relies on cotton, according to the World Bank. The government and regional cotton monopolies, which Burkinabe farmers must sell to, announced they would charge growers 38 percent more for fertilizer — and pay them as little as 39 percent of the world price at the time for their crop. Thousands of the nation’s farmers took to the streets in May, threatening to do the unthinkable — boycott planting the top cash crop in one of the world’s poorest countries. Read more here.
Cam Simpson & Alan Katz


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