• Benin Cotton
  • Benin Cotton
  • Benin Cotton
  • Benin Cotton

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Common Name Qutun, catoen, katoen, Gossypium, white gold
Size Plant 6ft , leaves 3-5 lobes each 2-4inches long, seed 3.5-10mm long
Variety BT cotton, hybrid cotton (Gm cotton)
Season Planted May –July, harvest 0ctober-December
Storage and Packing Cool, dry well-ventilated sheds, covered in tarpaulin and canvas, packed in jute bags and polythene bags, bales
Transport conditions Clean, well-ventilated trucks, controlled humidity
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Benin cotton farming is the primary source of income for most of Benin’s population. It also accounts for a significant part of the country’s economic development. Cultivation of cotton, also known as white gold, has been carried out in the country for many years.

The government is now putting effort to modernize the production and marketing chain. Farmers are also practising better farming methods hence producing good quality cotton. These factors have contributed to making Benin the leading cotton producer in the West African region.

Cotton has an array of uses, which make it a lucrative cash crop. It is used in the textile industry to make clothes, curtains, bed sheets and other household textiles. The seeds of the cotton plant produce oil, which is used in the cosmetic industry to make soap and lotions. Farmers also use the cotton seed as animal feed as well as to manufacture coffee filters.

The name of this plant comes from the Arabic word qutun. This plant is also known as katoen or catoen in some parts of the world. It belongs to the Gossypium family along with four other plants of the same species and is scientifically called Gossypium.

A Cotton plant grows up to 6 feet high and produces dark green leaves that have about five lobes each. Some of the leaves have three nodes. Each leaf is about two to four inches long. A cotton plant develops in five stages, which are difficult to notice as the change is barely noticeable.

Planting of cotton in Benin begins as soon as the rain starts falling from May up until July. Precipitation should be on average or a little above average. Conditions required for cotton to mature properly include a temperature range of between 18 and 32 degrees Celsius and 600-1200mm of water all through the plant development period. Cotton is usually mature and ready for harvest between October and December.

There are two main types of cotton grown in Benin. These include the BT cotton which is the high-quality cottonseed and genetically modified cotton

Authentic BT cotton produces high-quality seeds that are suitable for commercial use. Benin farmers maintain pure lines and grow them in controlled and closely monitored conditions to obtain high-quality seeds even in the future.

Seed companies crossbreed seeds of two parent varieties to come up with a hybrid cultivar of Benin cotton. These seeds are of relatively lower quality, and each subsequent breed produces lower quality cotton than the previous one. Hybrid cotton seeds present a huge difference in genetics and phenotypes.

In the past, cotton was handpicked by plantation workers. This method of harvest has, however, been phased out and replaced by machines called pickers or strippers. The strippers have spinners that twist the cotton from the buds that are usually attached to the stem.

Harvested cotton should be kept dry in stores and sheds that are cool, dry and well ventilated. In the case of harvest in a rainy season, the sheds and stores should be covered using canvas bags. It is important to protect harvested cotton from contamination by chemicals, dust, petroleum and other factors that may otherwise lead to spoilage.

Cotton is transported in large, loose bales or small modules wrapped in plastic. Each bundle weighs up to 14000 pounds. These packages are transported to the gin using open trailers where the cotton seed is removed and later used as animal feed. The final product is then shipped either by road, rail, or air under controlled humidity levels. Cotton should always be protected from moisture to retain it’s quality and market form

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Other Processed & Agro Commodities from Benin: Benin Cotton, Benin Wood,

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