SCOPA – Sustainable Cotton Production in Africa:
Organic Cotton for Employment,
Growth and Environment?

Project period

1 January 2015 – 31 December 2021


by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, through Danida

Total budget

9,998,822 DKK


In this research project, we develop and apply an interdisciplinary framework for assessing and comparing environmental, economic, and social sustainability of cotton production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our analysis includes several currently practiced organic and conventional ways of cotton production as well as some innovative—potentially more sustainable—ways of cotton production. Sustainability is assessed by several indicators, e.g. pesticide residues, soil fertility, greenhouse gas emissions, competitiveness, income and employment generation, and social conditions along the value chains. The empirical studies are conducted in Benin and Tanzania, representing West and East Africa, respectively.

Find a more detailed project description here (pdf)

Project Coordinator

Arne Henningsen, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen

Participating institutions and researchers

Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen:

Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen:

Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University:

Laboratory of Social Dynamics and Development Studies (LADYD), University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC):

  • Roch L. Mongbo
  • Anne Floquet

Laboratory of Biomathematics and Forest estimations (LaBEF), Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC):

National High School of Agricultural Sciences and Technologies, University of Parakou:

  • Epiphane Sodjinou
  • Ghislain Boris Aïhounton (PhD student)

National Institute of Agricultural Research in Benin (INRAB):

  • Attanda Mouinou Igué

Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA):

  • Joseph Hella
  • Michael Baha (PhD student)

Department of Soil Science, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA):

  • Nyambilila Amuri
  • Thomas Bwana (PhD student)


a) Aihounton, G.B.D. and Henningsen, A. (2021): Units of Measurement and

the Inverse Hyperbolic Sine Transformation. The Econometrics Journal

24(2), p. 334–351.


b) Bwana, T.N., Amuri, N.A., Semu, E., Elsgaard, L., Butterbach-Bahl,

K., Pelster, D.E., Olesen, J.E. (2021): Soil N2O emission from organic

and conventional cotton farming in Northern Tanzania. Science of The

Total Environment 785, 147301.


c) Bwana, Thomas N., Nyambilila A. Amuri, Ernest Semu, Jørgen E. Olesen,

Arne Henningsen, Michael R. Baha, and Joseph Hella (2020): Yield and

Profitability of Cotton Grown Under Smallholder Organic and Conventional

Cotton Farming Systems in Meatu District, Tanzania. In: Singh, Bal Ram,

Andy Safalaoh, Nyambilila A. Amuri, Lars Olav Eik, Bishal K. Sitaula,

and Rattan Lal (editors), Climate Impacts on Agricultural and Natural

Resource Sustainability in Africa, Springer, p. 175-200.


d) Aihounton, G.B.D., Henningsen, A., and Trifkovic, N.: Pesticide

Handling and Human Health: Conventional and Organic Cotton Farming in

Benin. IFRO working paper 2021/06. Department of Food and Resource

Economics, University of Copenhagen.


e) Olesen, R.S. (2018): Forandring ligger I vores natur – En

feltreportage blandt bomuldsbønder i Tanzania, Geografisk Orientering,

3/2018: 1-9.


f) Bwana, T.N. (2019): Environmental Performance of Smallholder Organic

and Conventional Cotton Production Systems in Meatu, Tanzania. PhD

thesis, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania.


g) Thomsen, S.N. (2016): The impacts of organic standards on global

value chain dynamics: a case study of the organic cotton value chain in

Tanzania. MSc Thesis, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource

Management, University of Copenhagen.


h) Henningsen, A. Aihounton, G.B.D.; Baha, M.R.;  Sodjinou, E.;

Elleby, C.;  Hella, J.P.; Mlay, G.I.;  Trifkovic, N. (2021):

Questionnaires for a Survey of Smallholder Cotton Farmers in Benin,

available at


i) Aihounton, G.B.D., and Henningsen, A:

Does Organic Farming Jeopardize Food and Nutrition Security?

IFRO working paper 2023/02. University of Copenhagen,

Department of Food and Resource Economics.