Cotton harvesting, Burkina Faso View larger

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Cotton harvesting, Burkina Faso
Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND

Art Photography by Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND, cotton harvesting around Banfora, Burkina Faso. In the south of Burkina Faso, near the Ivorian border, cotton parcels are next to subsistence crops. Cotton is still picked by hand which means that plants can only be one to two meters high.

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Orientation Landscape
Color White

Cotton harvesting, Burkina Faso

Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND

Art Photography by Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND, cotton harvesting around Banfora, Burkina Faso. In the south of Burkina Faso, near the Ivorian border, cotton parcels are next to subsistence crops. Cotton is still picked by hand which means that plants can only be one to two meters high.

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In the south of Burkina Faso, near the Ivorian border, cotton parcels are next to subsistence crops. Cotton is still picked by hand which means that plants can only be one to two meters high. Once they are harvested, the fibres are gathered to form "balls" to be sold. They will most probably be sent to SOFITEX (Fibre and textile company) in Banfora. This region's climate is perfectly adapted to cotton farming which requires 700 mm of water and a minimum of 120 days of sunshine a year as well as a dry period to stop the fibre rotting before it matures. Burkina Faso is the largest cotton producer on the African continent and employs 3 million people including 2 million producers. The sector accounts for 25% of the GDP and 60% of the country's exports. This makes it vulnerable to world price fluctuations. After refusing GM cotton for years, the Burkinabé authorities officially allowed the crop in 2008 to ensure regular production.

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