The US's Department of Agriculture is to send a team of experts to West Africa to examine the region's cotton industry.

Secretary of Agriculture, Ann Veneman, said the team will make suggestions on ways to improve production, processing and logistics systems to increase the region's competitive edge within the industry.

Veneman added that the venture is likely to be a forerunner for coordinated agricultural strategies throughout Africa.

She also said that the US is planning to help the region set up a centre for biotechnology, which will involve technical assistance, training, and research.