African Farmers Struggle to Make Ends Meet During his recent trip to Africa, President Bush talked about free-trade and poverty-reduction. But his critics in Africa say U.S. agricultural subsidies are doing just the opposite. The U.S. government pays about $4 billion a year to subsidize the American cotton crop. African leaders say the payments undermine African farm exports and drown out the effects of development aid, keeping African farmers in poverty. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports.