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cottonLONDON - A new report from the Fairtrade Foundation claims that the West African cotton industry is being hindered by a wall of funding provided to US and European Union farmers from their respective governments.

According to the new report, The Great Cotton Stitch-Up, the US and EU have paid out more than US$31 billion in funding over the past nine years on their cotton farmers. A key effect of this, the report says, has been to dampen down global cotton prices, reducing demand for West African cotton and “restricting their ability to export their way out of poverty so perpetuating reliance on aid.”

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