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Hundreds of varieties of cotton grain exist in Africa, some of which are indigenous and have been traced back to the 10 and 13th centuries. Cotton has played an important part in the economic development of a number of West African countries and has remained a key source of livelihood for many. Cotton has been grown in West Africa1 for more than a hundred years and a significant traditional textile industry has existed in the region for more than 50 years (see e.g. Gardi 2003). In recent decades, volumes of cotton produced have exponentially increased. For example, in Mali alone production has risen from some 61 000 tonnes in the mid‐1970s to more than 500 000 tonnes per year in 1997.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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