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Ethiopian farmers to grow CmiA sustainable cottonMonday, March 30, 2015 > 11:23:03
(Fibre 2 Fashion)
More than 9,000 smallholder farmers in North-Western Ethiopia will now be supported by the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) following successful verification in accordance with the Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) sustainability standard.
AbTF would cooperate with the Ethiopian Cotton Producers, Exporters and Ginners Association (ECPGEA), the foundation said in a media release.
With Ethiopia’s joining, CmiA’s sustainable cotton initiative now reaches over 5 million people in Africa.
“With the addition of Ethiopia, there are now round about 650,000 smallholder farmers growing cotton according to the CmiA sustainability standards. With their family members included, this totals over 5.5 million people in 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Christoph Kaut, managing director of AbTF.
“Our standard is specifically aimed at smallholder farmers in our project countries who only have a small plot of land and who are most in need of support. In order to protect the environment and vital resources, the exploitation of primary forests is forbidden, as is encroachment into established protected areas, the use of genetically modified seeds, and artificial irrigation,” Kaut added.
In 2014, more than 150,000 tonnes of cotton were produced in accordance with the CmiA standard in Africa. As a result of the latest successful verifications in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Cameroon, the quantity of CmiA-verified cotton produced will rise again significantly in 2015.
Under its CmiA initiative, AbTF promotes aid by trade in order to improve the living conditions of cotton farmers and their families in Sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative offers cotton farmers training in modern, efficient and environmentally-friendly cultivation methods which allow them to improve the quality of their cotton, increase their crop yield and thereby generate better income.
In addition to benefitting from agricultural and business training, the CmiA partnership also means that smallholder farmers can rely on fair contracts with cotton companies and reliable payment for their crops.
To date, smallholder farmers from Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Ethiopia are partnering with CmiA.