June 22, 2024

Better Cotton To Scale Up Sustainable Production In Africa

Better Cotton will conduct sustainability mapping and assessments in West and Central Africa to enhance its understanding of the needs of farmers in the region and identify context-specific interventions.

Funded by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), these assessments will inform ways in which targeted support can aid the production of more sustainable and regenerative cotton.

This will be done across Better Cotton’s programmes in Mali and Côte d’Ivoire, which engage a combined 200,000 farmers and farm workers.

This collaboration between Better Cotton and Afreximbank is part of wider efforts on the continent, led by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and football governing body FIFA.

The aim is to support the development of the cotton-to-textile value chain in West and Central Africa and improve economic returns for the sector.

In 2022, the WTO and FIFA formalised a partnership to enhance the participation of Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad and Mali (C4) as well as neighbouring countries like Côte d’Ivoire, within apparel value chains.

In February of this year, the pair officially launched a coalition, ‘Partenariat pour le Coton’, of which Better Cotton is a member to accelerate work on this front.

In doing so, they issued a call for investment, emphasising that the current balance of exporting 90 percent cotton raw material, falls short of the region’s economic potential.

While raw material exports generate vital revenues, organisations active on the continent believe there is scope to bolster local textile processing capacities in order to boost incomes.

Better Cotton’s assessments conducted with support from its Programme Partners in Mali and Côte d’Ivoir will connect farming communities to the WTO and FIFA’s mission to strengthen supply chains.

Better Cotton remains committed to Africa and continues to build upon its presence on the continent.

In November 2023, the organisation launched its programme in Côte d’Ivoire and co-hosted an event in Chad to discuss opportunities to establish a programme in the country.

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