Rodrigo Rato, head of the International Monetary Fund, has urged affluent countries to stop subsidies to their cotton producers in order for African countries to find a way out of poverty, French daily newspaper Le Figaro reported.

Rato said that African countries accept they must reform their cotton industries and that the IMF was prepared to provide them with loans for to help.

However, he pointed out that this cannot be achieved if global prices remain low due to the massive subsidies rich nations give to their producers.