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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cotton is King in Benin

Cotton Africa

Cotton Economy

Cotton is King in Benin

Cotton is still King in the African country of Benin, cotton accounts for nearly 40% of the country's revenue. Cotton provides an income to roughly three million people however; cotton productivity and profitability have declined in recent years due, in part, to poor governmental management practices and piracy against commercial shipping in its territory off the Port of Cotonou.


Where is Benin?

Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a West African kingdom that raised to prominence in about 1600 and over the next 250 years became a regional power, largely based on its slave trade.

Benin is located in Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo. Benin is slightly smaller than Pennsylvania. The languages of Benin include French the official language, Fon and Yoruba, and numerous tribal languages.

The economy of Benin is dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade.
Benin cotton

Cotton in Benin

The economy of Benin is dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. An insufficient electrical supply continues to adversely affect Benin's economic growth though the government recently has taken steps to increase domestic power production.

Benin, which was a leading global producer of cotton between 2004 and 2006, has since experienced a sharp fall in production. Cotton exports have not been able to recover its former output levels. The Benin government has also taken over the export of cotton and cottonseed. After a difficult period, production is now once again getting under way, but with output likely to be below Benin’s glory days as King of Cotton.


Cotton Africa

Cotton in Benin Africa, three facts

Cotton is Benin’s most important cash crop

Cotton is highly susceptible to pests such as cotton bollworm, and more pesticides are used on it per unit than on any other crop. Organic farming is catching on but relies on farmers rotating their crops, which takes time, and monitoring insects.

Cotton has mainly been farmed in Benin using agrochemicals including, in some cases, the banned insecticide endosulfan, to raise yields.



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