US cotton change could save millions


Good article on treehugger today, looking at a recent oxfam report which explains how a cut in US subsidy for homegrown cotton could massively benefit the developing world.

Here’s a snapshot:  “…Previous studies my colleagues and I have done clearly show the trade distorting effects of US cotton subsidies by lowering the world price of cotton, with results at the aggregate level,” says Daniel Sumner, director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center and one of the authors of the Oxfam report. “But these new numbers show that even a modest increase in the world price of cotton that only partly reaches the farmer could greatly improve the daily lives of some of the world’s poorest people, and could literally mean that millions of poor people could be fed.”

For the typical cotton-growing West African household of 10, who live on less than a dollar a day per person, cotton is often the only source of income. According to the Oxfam study, a complete removal of U.S. cotton subsidies would jack up the world price of cotton by 6 to 14 percent, resulting in a 5 to 12 percent increase in the prices that West African farmers receive for their cotton…”

Come on USA, walk the talk, lets stop bolstering up your economy at the expense of millions of lives!


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