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Cotton Sector Policies And Performance In Sub-Saharan Africa:Lessons Behind The Numbers In Mozambique And Zambia


  • Boughton, Duncan
  • Tschirley, David L.
  • Zulu, Ballard
  • Ofico, Afonso Osorio
  • de Marrule, Higino Francisco


Cotton is one of the most important smallholder cash crops in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). How to ensure input supply, credit recovery and competition is a subject of intense policy debate. This paper examines the performance of cotton sector development policies in Mozambique and Zambia. Both countries face the challenge of organizing input supply to farmers in the absence of rural credit markets, and competing in international markets distorted by production subsidies in developed countries. Both countries privatized cotton ginning in the 1990s. Emerging from civil war, Mozambique established geographical monopolies to interlink input and output markets and facilitate credit recovery. In Zambia, the government completely liberalized the cotton sector, forcing the private sector to deal with the problem of input distribution and credit recovery by itself. Despite being landlocked, Zambia's cotton sector has achieved better performance in terms of both value of cotton output per hectare and smallholder share of world market prices. An analysis of the institutional and technical factors behind the two countries' performance provides insights to guide the design of public/private partnerships relevant to many SSA countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Boughton, Duncan & Tschirley, David L. & Zulu, Ballard & Ofico, Afonso Osorio & de Marrule, Higino Francisco, 2003. "Cotton Sector Policies And Performance In Sub-Saharan Africa:Lessons Behind The Numbers In Mozambique And Zambia," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25855, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae03:25855

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Louis M. Goreux & Paul R Masson & Dhaneshwar Ghura & Ousmane Badiane, 2002. "Cotton Sector Strategies in West and Central Africa," IMF Working Papers 02/173, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Pitoro, Raul & Govene, Olivia & de Marrule, Higino Francisco & Tschirley, David L. & Boughton, Duncan, 2001. "Desempenho do Sector Algodoeiro ao Nível da Machamba em Nampula: Situação Actual e Perspectivas para o seu Melhoramento," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 56051, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    3. Poulton, Colin & Gibbon, Peter & Hanyani-Mlambo, Benjamine & Kydd, Jonathan & Maro, Wilbald & Larsen, Marianne Nylandsted & Osorio, Afonso & Tschirley, David & Zulu, Ballard, 2004. "Competition and Coordination in Liberalized African Cotton Market Systems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 519-536, March.
    4. Jayne, Thomas S., 2000. "Improving Smallholder and Agri-Business Opportunities in Zambia’s Cotton Sector: Key Challenges and Options," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54456, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bias, Calisto & Donovan, Cynthia, 2003. "Gaps and Opportunities for Agricultural Sector Development in Mozambique," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 56058, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    2. Delpeuch, Claire & Vandeplas, Anneleen, 2013. "Revisiting the “Cotton Problem”—A Comparative Analysis of Cotton Reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 209-221.
    3. Delpeuch, Claire, 2011. "African cotton markets at crossroads : will the price spike turn into a new kick-start ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5847, The World Bank.
    4. Gandonou, Jean-Marc & Dillon, Carl R. & Harman, Wyatte L. & Williams, Jimmy R., 2004. "Precision Farming As A Tool In Reducing Environmental Damages In Developing Countries: A Case Study Of Cotton Production In Benin," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20086, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Swinnen, Johan F.M. & Vandeplas, Anneleen, 2007. "Contracting, Competition, and Rent Distribution Theory and Empirical Evidence from Developing and Transition Countries," 103rd Seminar, April 23-25, 2007, Barcelona, Spain 9413, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Elbehri, Aziz & Macdonald, Steve, 2004. "Estimating the Impact of Transgenic Bt Cotton on West and Central Africa: A General Equilibrium Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2049-2064, December.
    7. World Bank, 2007. "Zambia : Smallholder Agricultural Commercialization Strategy," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8039, The World Bank.
    8. Pitoro, Raul & Walker, Thomas S. & Tschirley, David L. & Swinton, Scott M. & Boughton, Duncan & de Marrule, Higino Francisco, 2009. "Can Bt Technology Reduce Poverty Among African Cotton Growers? An Ex Ante Analysis of the Private and Social Profitability of Bt Cotton Seed in Mozambique," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51633, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Gitau, Raphael & Kimenju, Simon C. & Kibaara, Betty & Nyoro, James K. & Bruntrup, Michael & Zimmermann, Roukayatou, 2008. "Agricultural Policy-Making in Sub Saharan Africa: Kenya's Past Policies," Working Papers 202608, Egerton University, Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development.
    10. World Bank, 2004. "Zambia - Country Economic Memorandum : Policies for Growth and Diversification, Volume 1. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15666, The World Bank.
    11. Claire Delpeuch & Antoine Leblois, 2013. "Sub-Saharan African Cotton Policies in Retrospect," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 31(5), pages 617-642, September.
    12. Tschirley, David L. & Kabwe, Stephen, 2007. "Cotton in Zambia: 2007 Assessment of its Organization, Performance, Current Policy Initiatives, and Challenges for the Future," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54485, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    13. Zulu, Ballard & Tschirley, David L., 2004. "An Assessment of Current Policy Initiatives in Zambia's Cotton Sector," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 54612, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    14. Alfieri, Andrea & Arndt, Channing & Cirera, Xavier, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Mozambique," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48552, World Bank.

    More about this item


    Cotton; Mozambique; Zambia; liberalization; agricultural policy; Agricultural and Food Policy; Crop Production/Industries;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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