Today in West Africa cotton is seen as a rare example of an agricultural success story of the 1970s and 1980s. At the heart of this success was the 'CFDT system', an integrated vertical structure of research-production-marketing, introduced in the newly independent West African francophone countries by the Compagnie Française pour le Développement des Fibres Textiles (CFDT) and its various national partners/subsidiaries. The CFDT system provides inputs, purchases cotton and pays farmers for their produce. Furthermore, the system provides a technological package that includes varieties of high yield seeds, pesticides and fertilizers. This briefing outlines: the institutional history; village associations and SYCOV (the National Union of Cotton and Food Crop Producers); the current structure and performance of the Compagnie Malienne pour le Développement des Fibres Textiles (CMDT); institutional constraints; and research questions and subjects for future phases of the programme.
Mali Research Brief 3, IPPG Briefing Paper No. Fifteen, DFID, London, UK, 3 pp.