Publications des agents du Cirad


The evolution of research and development work performed by Cirad in partnership with small cotton growers in French-speaking West Africa

Deguine J.P., Fok M., Vaissayre M., Crétenet M., Rollin D., Marnotte P., Gourlot J.P., Lacape J.M., Chaïr H., Lançon J.. 2000. In : 59 th Plenary meeting of the International cotton advisory committee, Cairns, Ausralie, novembre 2000. s.l. : s.n., 20-9 p.. Plenary Meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee. 59, 2000-11, Cairns (Australie).

The performances of cotton production in French-speaking West Africa are among the best in the world under rainfed smallholding conditions. With organisation centred on integrated cotton companies, this is the result of longstanding close collaboration between researchers, development operators and farmers. CIRAD and its research & development partners also contribute through both research activities and training actions. This performance reached its best level in the early 1990s. Since then, yields have tended to stagnate or even decrease and the situation is changing rapidly. In a dull world market context, cotton sectors are developing with a tendency towards liberalisation and are changing the positions of the different players and the organisation that has been established for several decades. Biotic and abiotic constraints are intensifying or changing and others are appearing. Environmental considerations have become unavoidable. The survival of cotton sectors may be at risk unless solutions and new proposals are provided by the research sector. After a reminder of the main features of the evolution of cotton production, this paper reports on the one hand the questions resulting from the stagnation of yields since the beginning of the 1990s, and on the other shows the awareness of the need to change the present difficult situation. Starting from this, new research themes aimed at reconciling technical and economic objectives, social considerations, organisational parameters and the need for better respect of the environment are described.
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