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The 'Full Potential' of Uganda's Cotton Industry


  • John Baffes


During the 1960s, Uganda was the largest cotton producer in sub-Saharan Africa. Attempts to revive the sector following its demise in the 1970s were unsuccessful in the 1980s and more effective in the 1990s. However, there is a sense that it still lags behind its full potential. Low quality of the cotton, lack of a domestic textile industry, and low use of purchased inputs due to lack of rural credit are identified as key constraints. This article argues that the fundamental problems are low profitability, which reflects the displacement of cotton by food crops, and the forced-labour conditions under which cotton was grown. It concludes that promotion of biotechnology and training cotton growers are two areas that should receive priority. Copyright (c) The Author 2009. Journal compilation (c) 2009 Overseas Development Institute..

Suggested Citation

  • John Baffes, 2009. "The 'Full Potential' of Uganda's Cotton Industry," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 27(1), pages 67-85, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:27:y:2009:i:1:p:67-85

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    Cited by:

    1. Elepu, Gabriel & Ekere, W., 2009. "Competitiveness of Cotton in Organic and Conventional Production Systems in Uganda," Journal of Rural Economics and Development, University of Ibadan, Department of Agricultural Economics, vol. 18, pages 1-13.
    2. Vasilaky, Kathryn N. & Islam, Asif M., 2018. "Competition or cooperation? Using team and tournament incentives for learning among female farmers in rural Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 216-225.

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