Beyond the fibre: Capturing cotton's full value in Africa

Cotton by-products – such as cottonseed oil and oilcakes – can contribute meaningfully to reducing poverty, creating jobs and increasing economic growth in Africa. These derivatives can represent up to 30% of the value of seed cotton. Yet oil and cakes have not been fully exploited, despite a potential of 400,000 tons of oil and 500,000 tons of protein – vital for the growing livestock industry. Stalks and other by-products have also been neglected.

This paper explores ways of capturing the full value of cotton in Africa. It illustrates the benefits of a more systematic way of exploiting the substantial untapped potential of cotton by-products.