Challenge of improving cotton competitiveness in a distorted market: analysing the role of crop protection in francophone africa
- English abstract
- From the perspective of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Cancùn in September 2003 was dramatic in the sense that a few of these countries spoke for the first time in the arena of international negotiations of trade. Four Francophone African cotton producing countries (FACCs) - Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali - protested against the subsidies in a few countries or regions that had in effect pushed the world cotton price down. This approach of international protest captured the attention and energies in and out of the related countries, but no complementary actions were taken to gain competitiveness and enable them to be less dependent on the good will of the super powers. The exclusive focus on international protest is furthermore debatable as there has been no progress on the Doha negotiations since July 2006. Many actions could be contemplated to improve field productivity and product competitiveness, in various areas, e.g. soil fertility and fertilizing, tolerance to unfavourable climatic trend, cultivation practices in better controlling plant growth. In this paper, we focus on the possible contribution of crop protection.