- Better Cotton aims to support 200,000 cotton farmers across Côte d’Ivoire in the first five years.
- The Professional Association of Cotton Companies of Côte d’Ivoire will oversee the upskilling of farmers.
- Earlier this year, Better Cotton convened stakeholders in Abidjan to discuss sustainability in agriculture in Côte d’Ivoire.
Better Cotton, the world’s largest cotton sustainability initiative, has launched a new program in Côte d’Ivoire and committed to supporting 200,000 domestic cotton farmers in its first five years.
The new field-level program will offer training and resources to farming communities across the country, representing a crucial step toward helping them produce more sustainable cotton.
Before the outbreak of civil war in 2002, Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading cocoa producer, held a prominent position among Africa’s major cotton exporters. The cotton sector, which had experienced a significant decline in production due to years of political unrest, had been on a path to recovery for the past decade.
Better Cotton presence in Africa
The Professional Association of Cotton Companies of Côte d’Ivoire (APROCOT-CI) will serve as the initiative’s Strategic Partner for Côte d’Ivoire, overseeing efforts to improve the climate resilience and economic outlook of farming communities.
Alan McClay, Chief Executive Officer at Better Cotton, said, “Opening a new program in Côte d’Ivoire is an exciting step as Better Cotton bolsters its presence across the continent. Our partnership with APROCOT-CI will be fundamental to the delivery of our work in the country, helping domestic cotton farmers reap the environmental and economic rewards of more sustainable cotton production. We are grateful for APROCOT-CI’s support and the commitment they have shown to this cause.”
APROCOT-CI represents the interests of cotton companies across the country, from farms to gins, and comprises six member organizations: CIDT, Ivoire Coton, Global Cotton SA, CO.I.C-SA, SICOSA 2.0, and Seco SA. These organizations will serve as Better Cotton Programme Partners, providing training and resources to cotton communities to enable social and environmental improvements.
Sustainable farming practices
“The partnership underscores our organisations shared commitment to creating a positive impact in the cotton industry, with a primary focus on improving the livelihoods of smallholder cotton farmers. By integrating Better Cotton’s sustainable farming practices and APROCOT-CI’s local expertise, we aim to enhance cotton yields, reduce environmental impact, and improve social and economic outcomes for farmers in the region,” commented Jean François Toure, President of APROCOT-CI.
APROCOT-CI submitted a Declaration of Interest to Better Cotton last year, outlining the national interest in starting a Better Cotton program. In March of this year, Better Cotton hosted a multistakeholder event in the city of Abidjan to understand the scope for impact ahead of opening a program.
Better Cotton is committed to building upon its presence across Africa to enable smallholder farmers to mitigate climate change and adopt a continuous improvement approach to sustainable agricultural practice. With a membership network spanning from the farm to the retailer and brand level, Better Cotton is strategically positioned to meet supply with increasing demand.
Restoring the environment
The world’s largest cotton sustainability program has a mission to help cotton communities survive and thrive while protecting and restoring the environment.
In the 2021-22 cotton season, through its network of field-level partners, 2.9 million farmers in 22 countries received training on sustainable farming practices, and 2.2 million farmers received Better Cotton licenses.
Over one-fifth of the world’s cotton is now grown under the Better Cotton Standard. The organization has united the industry’s stakeholders behind its efforts, from ginners and spinners to brand owners, civil society organizations, and governments. Everyone who cares about cotton and its sustainable future can now be part of something better.