Better Cotton, the world’s largest cotton sustainability initiative, has announced the opening a new programme in Côte d’Ivoire and committed to supporting 200,000 domestic cotton farmers in its first five years.
The new field-level programme will offer training and resources to farming communities across the country, a first step towards helping them produce more sustainable cotton.
The Professional Association of Cotton Companies of Côte d’Ivoire (APROCOT-CI) will serve as Better Cotton’s Strategic Partner for Côte d’Ivoire, overseeing efforts to improve the climate resilience and economic outlook of farming communities.
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.
“The partnership underscores our organisation’s 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 national interest in starting a Better Cotton programme. 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 programme.
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 farm to retailer and brand level, Better Cotton is strategically positioned to meet supply with increasing demand.
Alan McClay, Chief Executive Officer at Better Cotton, said: “Opening a new programme 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 to 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.”