Despite a difficult economic climate, Benin maintains its cotton prices

Stake : For Benin, to support the cotton sector, a key sector of the national economy, at all costs.
In contrast to other producing nations in the sub-region, Benin has decided to keep the price per kilo of cotton unchanged for the 2020/2021 campaign. The country thus confirms its strong support for the country’s very dynamic cotton sector.

For Benin’s cotton producers, this is good news. While a number of countries in the sub-region have lowered their official prices for the new season, to take into account the prolonged fall in international white gold prices, the Beninese government has decided to keep purchase prices unchanged for 2020/2021. Validated by the Council of Ministers on 2 July, the price per kilogram of cotton will thus remain at 265 CFA francs ($0.45) for the first choice category and 215 CFA francs ($0.37) for the second choice category. Better still, to protect farmers from current market uncertainties – largely related to the coronavirus crisis – the government has committed to leave input prices untouched. The 50-kg bag of fertilizer, used for cotton cultivation, should thus remain at 12 000 CFA francs ($20.6), as in the 2019/2020 season.

This « benevolence » is first and foremost a strategic calculation, since the good health of Benin’s cotton sector is crucial to the country’s overall economic performance: according to Ministry of Finance data, the public treasury would have collected 11 billion CFA francs ($18.9 million) in direct revenue from the cotton sector in 2019. Moreover, since the reforms initiated in 2016, the sector no longer receives state subsidies. As for cotton production, it has never been so high: with 732,000 tons of seed cotton harvested in 2019/2020 – a figure that has more than doubled compared to 2015-2016 – Benin is now the leading West African seed cotton producer.

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