The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has struck an agreement that will put pressure on rich-world cotton producers to reduce subsidies that undercut their emerging market rivals.

While stopping short of a deal that will sweep away production hand-outs, the WTO ministerial conference in Bali, Indonesia, on Saturday (7 December) did agree cotton subsidies would be debated in detail twice a year by the organisation's agriculture committee.

These discussions will include data on the level of support provided by governments for their cotton producers, which will increase pressure on countries such as the US, which has been asked to reduce subsidies by poor country producers, such as Mali and Burkina Faso in Africa.

"The dedicated discussions shall in particular consider all forms of export subsidies for cotton and all export measures...," said the WTO deal's text.