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Cotton-based development in Sub-Saharan Africa? Global commodity chains, national market structure and development outcomes in Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Tanzania

Cornelia Staritz / Bernhard Tröster

Wien, August 2015

Cotton is one of the most important cash crops in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and has had an important role in job creation, poverty reduction and foreign exchange generation. SSA cotton exporters face particularly three interconnected challenges - how to increase yields and quality in the context of small holder farming; how to deal with volatile international prices; how to increase value addition through local processing. This paper analyses the cotton sectors in Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Tanzania along these challenges focusing on dynamics in global cotton commodity chains, different national market structures and related development outcomes. The aim of the paper is not to identify the best cotton sector organisation model but to point out issues that are important for positive development outcomes.

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