Can Poor Countries Afford Cotton Products?

Posted by Douglas Gray on 10th Sep 2015

Can poor countries afford cotton clothing products? Yes, most of the clothes produced in the developing counties are exported, but there are still many made for the local populations. They are not from the world famous designers, but clothes are a basic item all people need to venture out in public. At this time cotton is still relatively cheap even with the advances in synthetic material production. 

Cotton Tee

Most of the clothing used in the poorer nations of the world was designed to be made of cotton. It is a tradition and no matter what economic condition currently exists in these countries, traditions will carry on no matter what.

One of the biggest worries from the poorer nations of the world is the subsidies the US farmer is now receiving from the government. 73% of what they receive for their crop is in the form of subsides. This is 4 to 5 times more than wheat and corn growers make in their subsidies from the government. Because of this cotton production in America is continuing to expand.

This surplus of cotton on the world market has brought down prices that are comparable to the depressions years in the early 20th century when inflation is factored in. This makes the purchasing of cotton made products less expensive for the masses. The problem here is that the largest number of the world population that is involved in cotton production are from the developing countries. With cheap American cotton on the market, their cotton is less valuable and they are earning less. In countries like India, Pakistan and many African nations, the drop in the price of cotton is beginning to hurt their economies. 

It is true that over 300 billion dollars are spent by developed countries in support of their agricultural base. In America the agricultural base only represents 1% of the gross domestic product but without agriculture, the US would be fully dependent on other countries for raw material and food. That just does not make sense to any realist in this world. 

Having to be reliant on other counties for basic raw materials is why most of the countries that were in wars lost them.
What the low price of cotton is really doing to the developing world is to force them to develop industries rather than rely on agricultural items for a source of revenue. This way they will have sounder economies that will lay a foundation for future growth. It is true the world will always need items that are grown from the earth’s soil, but if it is their main source of revenue, then further development will not occur or as quickly.

At this time the populations of the poorer nations can afford cotton clothes. Because of a reduced reliance on this cash crop in the future, they will soon have thriving economies and the world as a whole will be a better place to live.