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Photographer's Note

I took this photo at a cotton factory about twenty kilometers south of Ketou. At this factory, the fiber from the cotton balls are made into sheets of cloth, which are then exported to Europe.

The seeds of the cotton balls are kept as a byproduct. These are made into oil, much like any other vegetable oil and consumed locally.

Cotton is one of the few products that Benin is able to export internationally. Like many West Africa nations, however, Benin has had a rough time making this industry profitable. A significant part of the problem is that cotton prices on the international market are kept artificially low because of subsidies to cotton producers in the world's affluent nations.

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Additional Photos by Caleb Ficner (kwekwekan) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 127 W: 10 N: 165] (1022)
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