Cotton refers to the fiber found around the seeds of several species of the plant bearing the same name. Cotton is an essential agricultural crop and is cultivated in over 50 countries around the world. Tens of millions of tons are harvested every year. The value of the world’s cotton production is about USD$50 billion every year. Even though cotton isn’t a food crop, its influence in the economies of many countries and world trade cannot be overemphasized.
What is cotton used for? What makes it such a valuable raw material? Why is it the center of a huge global industry?