Ivory Coast : BCI joins forces with Aprocot-CI for sustainable cotton farming
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a major player in the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices, recently announced a strategic partnership with the Professional Association of cotton companies in Ivory Coast (Aprocot-CI). This collaboration aims to transform the lives of 200,000 farmers over the next five years by improving sustainability and incomes in the cotton sector.
700,000 bales of cotton in Ivory Coast by 2023/24
Cotton production in Ivory Coast is an important part of the country’s economy and it is one of the leading cotton producers in West Africa. Cotton is grown in various parts of the country, particularly in the north where the climatic conditions are ideal.
The central objective of this alliance is to provide farmers with resources and specialist training to increase the yield of sustainable cotton. In addition, it aims to strengthen the climate resilience of farming communities while improving their profitability. According to USDA forecasts for the 2023/24 season, cotton production in Ivory Coast should reach 700,000 bales.
Increase wages for small farmers, optimise cotton yields and reduce its environmental impact
Jean Francois Toure, Chairman of Aprocot-CI, emphasised that the alliance is committed to having a positive influence on the local cotton industry in order to increase the incomes of small farmers. By combining Better Cotton’s sustainable farming practices with Aprocot-CI’s local expertise, the aim is to optimise cotton yields, reduce its environmental impact and improve farmers’ social and economic results.
Aprocot-CI, through a network of six member organisations, is already working with farmers and processing plants across the country. The previous year, this association had shown its interest in Better Cotton by proposing a project to launch this programme.
Better Cotton brought together stakeholders in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, to present the objectives and scope of the programme. The organisation stressed the importance of the host country’s commitment and collaboration in financing and delivering the project.
Ivory Coast’s inclusion in Better Cotton reinforces the country’s commitment to supporting small-scale farmers in the fight against climate change and promoting sustainable practices. Better Cotton, already well established in the cotton sector, from farm level to retail and brands, sees expansion into Côte d’Ivoire as a crucial step.
Alan McClay, CEO of Better Cotton, stresses that this partnership with Aprocot-CI will be essential to the success of their work in Côte d’Ivoire. He believes it will help to improve both the environmental and economic performance of cotton growers.
Better Cotton has already supported 2.9 million farmers in 22 countries, providing them with training in sustainable farming practices. Of these, 2.2 million have been certified Better Cotton during the 2021/2022 period, demonstrating the scale and positive impact of this initiative on the cotton sector worldwide.
Photo : Better Cotton/Morgan Ferrar. Place : Ratane village, Mecuburi District, Nampula Province, Mozambique, 2019.