Following the decoupling of the cotton subsidies in 2006 the production system has become less intensive in input usage with an average yield reduction of 40 per cent. Albeit the farm income has not been reduced, the reform has had a negative effect on the economy of some rural areas of Southern Spain, where there are few productive alternatives to cotton, with a 39% reduction of direct farm labour. Besides, the reform has been borne by the ginning industry (60% reduction), the agrochemical suppliers and the auxiliary sector. On the other hand, the environment has benefits from the extensification of the cotton production since three quarter of the production is now carried out under integrated production that implies a reduction in the amount of fertilizers and pesticides that farmers can use.


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