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Trees amid the waters

Worker resting on Cotton Bales

£569.25 (including 15 % tax)

This image available for Sponsorship, is of a worker resting on bales of cotton, Thonakaha, Korhogo, Ivory Coast Longtitude / Latitude: (9°28’N, 5°36’W).

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In the nineteenth century West Africa received its first cotton seeds of the Gossypium hirsutum variety, which originated in the British Antilles and remains the most widely cultivated kind of cotton in the world. At the beginning of the twentieth century this raw material represented 80 percent of the world textile market (47 percent today), and the European colonial powers encouraged cotton production in order to break the export monopoly of the United States and Egypt. Harvested manually at a rate of 33 to 80 pounds (15 to 40 kg) per worker per day in tropical Africa, the cotton crop is then put through gins in order to separate fibber, seeds, and waste. One ton of cotton yields 880 pounds (400 kg) of fibres and 1,200 pounds (560 kg) of seeds, which are processed for human consumption (as oil) or for animals (cattle cakes). In northern Côte d’Ivoire, especially in the Korhogo region, cotton plantations, the main cash crop, take up 590,000 acres (240,000 hectares). The country’s cotton output, nearly 300,000 tons, produced by more than 150,000 planters, is only a small fraction of world production; but nationally it counterbalances the agricultural domination in the south of the country, where the great plantations (cacao, palm oil, rubber, pineapple) are concentrated.

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