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African cotton markets at crossroads : will the price spike turn into a new kick-start ?

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  • Delpeuch, Claire

Abstract

After years of diplomatic efforts and legal procedures to obtain the elimination of rich countries'cotton subsidies, policy prospects for African cotton producers remain bleak. However, the world price for cotton has doubled in a year and has hit an all-time high. This paper examines these developments and investigates their potential consequences for African smallholder farmers. It emphasizes the importance of price transmission to domestic markets; assesses the impact of the reforms undertaken in Sub-Saharan African cotton sectors on producers'supply responsiveness; and outlines what remains to be done to ensure that farmers can benefit from a favorable global environment. The paper concludes that improving the functioning of domestic markets remains the priority in the short run. The current high price season will reveal the costs and benefits of different types of sector regulation systems and the capacity of policy-makers and sector stakeholders to deliver on promises. It also offers a last-minute opportunity to rich countries to keep their word in the context of the Doha Development Round.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5847
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Boughton, Duncan & Tschirley, David L. & de Marrule, Higino Francisco & Osorio, Afonso & Zulu, Ballard, 2002. "Cotton Sector Policies and Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons Behind the Numbers in Mozambique and Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 55233, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    2. Kaminski, Jonathan & Headey, Derek & Bernard, Tanguy, 2011. "The Burkinabè Cotton Story 1992-2007: Sustainable Success or Sub-Saharan Mirage?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1460-1475, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Kym Anderson & William A. Masters, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2607, January.
    5. Irene Brambilla & Guido G. Porto, 2011. "Market structure, outgrower contracts, and farm output. Evidence from cotton reforms in Zambia," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 740-766, December.
    6. David L. Tschirley & Colin Poulton & Nicholas Gergely & Patrick Labaste & John Baffes & Duncan Boughton & Gérald Estur, 2010. "Institutional Diversity and Performance in African Cotton Sectors," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 28(3), pages 295-323, May.
    7. 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.
    8. Nicholas Minot & Lisa Daniels, 2005. "Impact of global cotton markets on rural poverty in Benin," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 33(s3), pages 453-466, November.
    9. Gillson, I & Poulton, Colin & Balcombe, Kelvin & Page, S, 2004. "Understanding the impact of Cotton Subsidies on developing countries," MPRA Paper 15373, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Bates, Robert H. & Block, Steven A., 2009. "Political Economy of Agricultural Trade Interventions in Africa," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 50302, World Bank.
    11. David Tschirley & Colin Poulton & Patrick Labaste, 2009. "Organization and Performance of Cotton Sectors in Africa : Learning from Reform Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2604, January.
    12. Ilhem Baghdadli & Hela Cheikhrouhou & Gael Raballand, 2007. "Strategies for Cotton in West and Central Africa : Enhancing Competitiveness in the "Cotton 4"," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6784, January.
    13. Catherine ARAUJO BONJEAN & Jean-Louis COMBES & Patrick PLANE, 2003. "Preserving vertical co-ordination in the West African cotton sector," Working Papers 200303, CERDI.
    14. Shepherd, Ben & Delpeuch, Claire, 2007. "Subsidies and regulatory reform in West African cotton: What are the development stakes?," MPRA Paper 2289, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yankou Diasso, 2014. "Dynamique du prix international du coton : aléas, aversion au risque et chaos," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 80(4), pages 53-86.
    2. Delpeuch, Claire & Leblois, Antoine, 2014. "The Elusive Quest for Supply Response to Cash-Crop Market Reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Cotton," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 521-537.
    3. Bartels Lorand, 2013. "Making WTO Dispute Settlement Work for African Countries: An Evaluation of Current Proposals for Reforming the DSU," The Law and Development Review, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 47-66, August.
    4. Bassett, Thomas J., 2014. "Capturing the Margins: World Market Prices and Cotton Farmer Incomes in West Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 408-421.

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    Keywords

    Markets and Market Access; Economic Theory&Research; Environmental Economics&Policies; Emerging Markets; Access to Markets;

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