Geospatial Analysis of Cotton Production Potential

in Sub-Saharan Africa*

Arthur Green1 and Kai Bucher2 
1McGill University
Department of Geography
805 Sherbrooke St. W.Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 2K6
Email: (at)
2International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC)
1616 P Street, NW
Washington DC - 20036
Email: bucher (at )

 *Paper presented at Intercarto 12: International Conference on GIS and Sustainable Development. 29 August 2006. Berlin, Germany. <>


This study applies a geospatial analytic approach to assess human, economic and physical constraints to cotton production potential in Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is used to create a cost grid reflecting an integrated, geographic model of cotton production potential including a theoretically diverse set of parameters. Parameters include infrastructure, socio-political, demographic, agronomic, and novel geographic parameters among others. The GIS model uses geostatistics and cost grid functions to explore and expand upon existing datasets. The study results in a visual representation of cotton production potential.




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