The Failure of Cotton Imperialism in Africa: Seasonal Constraints and Contrasting Outcomes in French West Africa and British Uganda
Michiel de Haas
The Journal of Economic History, 2021, vol. 81, issue 4, 1098-1136
Cash-crop diffusion in colonial Africa was uneven and defied colonizers’ expectations and efforts, especially for cotton. This study investigates how agricultural seasonality affected African farmers’ cotton adoption, circa 1900–1960. A contrast between British Uganda and the interior of French West Africa demonstrates that a short rainy season and the resulting short farming cycles generated seasonal labor bottlenecks and food security concerns, limiting cotton output. Agricultural seasonality also had wider repercussions, for colonial coercion, investment, and African income-earning strategies. A labor productivity breakthrough in post-colonial Francophone West Africa mitigated the seasonality constraint, facilitating impressive cotton output growth post-1960.
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/ ... type/journal_article link to article abstract page (text/html)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cup:jechis:v:81:y:2021:i:4:p:1098-1136_4
Access Statistics for this article
More articles in The Journal of Economic History from Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Kirk Stebbing ().