Over 100,000 Burkina Faso farmers were pleased with Monsanto's yield-boosting Bt cotton, write Brian Dowd-Uribe & Matthew Schnurr. But not the companies that had to buy the crop at a fixed government-set price. The shorter fibres produced by Bt varieties led to less lint being extracted, and of lower quality, making it a lose-lose proposition for the country's most important industry.
After a run of low quality GM cotton crops with unusually short fibres, Burkina Faso has ended its love affair with Monsanto's Bt cotton, writes Claire Robinson. In a further blow to the company, growers are demanding $280 million compensation for their losses.
The revolution taking place in Burkina Faso is far more than an uprising of rebellious youth, writes Alexander Reid Ross. It's a genuine fight for national liberation - from neoliberalism, land grabs, corruption and foreign domination - that evokes the freedom struggle of an earlier generation.
The soils on which African farmers depend are getting poorer, writes Fernando Naves Sousa, depleted of nutrients and organic matter. This creates a huge challenge: to reverse the trend in an environmentally responsible way, while feeding a growing population. But it can be done - using organic composting techniques.