Chic African Culture Blog

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. African tech startups raise billions of dollars annually, seven African start-ups were included in the World Economic Forum 2021 cohort of 100 Technology Pioneers.

Picking Cotton in Modern Day Africa

African cotton economy in regards to cotton plantation owners and everyday Benin citizens benefit from the cotton economy but not equally. Cotton in Africa mostly benefits plantation owners, shipping merchants, and the textile industry.



 
Picking Cotton in Modern Day Africa

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 population of Benin is mainly located in the south, with the highest concentration of Beninese people living in and around the cities on the Atlantic coast. Most of the north of Benin remains sparsely populated with higher concentrations of residents in the west. Nevertheless, no matter Beninese people live, almost half the population is dependent on cotton to earn a living.


Cotton in Benin


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


Picking Cotton

In Benin, large cotton plantations or farms are dedicated to growing cotton. Picking cotton in Benin without machinery is very hot, hard, physical work where women work the same hours as men. At harvest time, pickers are expected to pick a certain amount of cotton each day or they do not earn enough money to support their families. Most work as field hands on cotton plantations. Today raw cotton is processed in the state's grain mills which the picker must pay for the use of the mill.

Cotton pickers can work in the fields from sunrise to sunset and at harvest time; they might work an 18-hour day. At harvest time, the cotton bolls are collected into large sacks and weighed. A good picker can harvest 100-300 pounds of cotton in a day. This size of harvest would consist of one-third fibers and two-thirds seeds. Harvesting is mechanized today on some larger farms.


Cotton is still King in the African country of Benin, cotton accounts for nearly 40 percent 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.

 
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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Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

Chic African Culture


Be better than average and support African history and culture. Since 2008 Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet highlight Africa through her food and culture. Contact us culture1africangourmet@gmail.com