LONDON – Better Cotton, the world’s largest cotton standard, has opened a new programme in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. The new field-level programme will offer training and resources to farming communities across the country. Better Cotton says is aims to support 200,000 domestic cotton farmers in the first five years of the programme.
The Professional Association of Cotton Companies of Côte d’Ivoire (APROCOT-CI) will be Better Cotton’s strategic partner for Côte d’Ivoire, overseeing, “efforts to improve the climate resilience and economic outlook of farming communities,” according to a press release.
APROCOT-CI represents the interests of cotton companies across the country, from farms to gins, and comprises six member organisations: CIDT, Ivoire Coton, Global Cotton SA, CO.I.C-SA, SICOSA 2.0, and Seco SA. These organisations will serve as Better Cotton programme partners, providing training and resources to cotton communities.
“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,” said 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.
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.”