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

  • Delpeuch, Claire

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.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5847.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5847
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  1. Minot, Nicholas & Daniels, Lisa, 2002. "Impact of global cotton markets on rural poverty in Benin," MSSD discussion papers 48, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  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. 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.
  4. Anderson, Kym & Masters, William A., 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Africa," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48554, World Bank.
  5. Catherine ARAUJO BONJEAN & Jean-Louis COMBES & Patrick PLANE, 2003. "Preserving vertical co-ordination in the West African cotton sector," Working Papers 200303, CERDI.
  6. 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.
  7. Delpeuch, Claire & Vandeplas, Anneleen & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2010. "Revisiting the "Cotton Problem:" A Comparative Analysis of Cotton Reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 96176, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Delpeuch, Claire & Leblois, Antoine, 2010. "Sub-Saharan African Cotton Policies in Retrospect," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 96174, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
  11. 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, December.
  12. 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, 05.
  13. 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, December.
  14. Bates, Robert H. & Block, Steven A., 2009. "Political Economy of Agricultural Trade Interventions in Africa," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 50302, World Bank.
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