New proposal on reducing cotton domestic subsidies

Original Publication Date: 
23 February, 2006

A new proposal was tabled last week on an accelerated programme for reducing domestic support for cotton by the four West African countries that are co-sponsors of the sectoral initiative in favour of cotton.

The countries - Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali - submitted their paper (TN/AG/GEN/12) on 16 February, in advance of the 17 February meeting of the Committee on Agriculture in Special Session. It is also meant for discussion at the meeting of the Sub-Committee on Cotton on 28 February.

The paper, 'Proposed elements of the reduction formula for domestic support for cotton', made two proposals, one relating to the level of reduction for domestic support for cotton, and another on the time frame for the reduction.

On the first issue, the paper proposed that "the level of reduction of domestic support for cotton shall be three times higher than that of the reductions to be made under whatever general formula is agreed for the reduction of domestic support in agriculture."

It added that "A correction coefficient ( c) shall be introduced for cotton in relation to agriculture."

As to the reduction time-frame, the paper says that "the time period for the reduction of domestic support for cotton shall be one third of the period agreed upon for the reduction of domestic support in agriculture in general."

It adds that: "An index ( t) shall be introduced for the adjustment of the time period for the reduction of domestic support for cotton."