University of Namur (Belgium)
Marc Bellemare (US); Catherine Guirkinger (Belgium)
The aim of this project is to insure Malian cotton producers. The vast majority of cotton producers in Mali are small farmers for whom cotton represents the only source of cash, as the remainder of their lands is devoted to cultivating staple crops. A household survey we recently conducted in the Koutiala-Sikasso-San region of Mali, the historical cotton growing region of Mali, reveals that these producers are extremely poor and vulnerable to adverse shocks. Only a minority of their children goes to school, and when a household experiences a shock, it typically has to sell off assets such as their plow animals. Cotton yields fluctuate widely, which represents a major concern for producers, especially given that most of them rely on credit to finance cotton production and thus face the risk of defaulting on their loans when yields are low.