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July 26, 2011

Burkina Faso cotton farmers destroy crop to force price boycott, one killed

by Simon Gongo

Farmers in Burkina Faso destroyed more than 450 hectares (1,112 acres) of cotton by digging up fields in an attempt to force a boycott of this year’s harvest, Radio Burkina reported, citing Laurent Sedogo, agriculture minister.

Sedogo was meeting with farmers in the Bales province, 200 kilometers from Ouagadougou, the capital, to find a resolution to the dispute, the state-owned broadcaster reported.

Burkina Faso’s cotton-planting season, which runs in June and July, has been marred by farmers’ boycotts over prices they say are too low and later-than-normal seasonal rains. The West African nation is the biggest grower of the fiber in sub- Saharan Africa.

One person was killed and five others injured when a farmer allegedly opened fire on growers who were trying to dig up plants on his field on July 23...

The farmer killed supported a boycott by about 8,000 producers nationwide against planting the crop to protest a government plan to raise fertilizer prices and cap the amount growers were paid for their produce after world prices soared to a record on March 7.

The farmers “went to extract the plants in the farms of one of the producers who didn’t support the boycott. When they arrived, the owner shot him and hurt the others.”


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