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Cotton made in Africa(CmiA) is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation that helps people help themselves through trade. The initiative aims at sustainably improving living conditions for African small holder farmers by creating an alliance of international textile firms who purchase and process sustainably produced cotton from African smallholder farmers for the world market. Cotton farmers also profit from the initiatives training and social projects. In 2012 around 435,000 smallholder farmers from Benin, Côte dIvoire, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe participate in the programme.Since November 2012 the initiative also works in Zimbabwe.Last year around 20 million textiles made of Cotton made in Africa cotton entered the market, and the initiative anticipates around 24 million units this year. www.cottonmadeinafrica.org/presseSocial Accountability International (SAI) is the official US-based representative for Cotton Made in Africa, introducing this initiative to American companies and helping them to start using the initiatives socially responsible cotton.Subscribe to Cotton made in Africas newsletterFacebook:http://www.facebook.com/cottonmadeinafrica
Cotton Made in Africa Works With Smallholder Farmers in Zimbabwe
On the ground CmiA is working with the Cargill cotton company and the German Investment and Development Society (DEG). The Initiative estimates that the Zimbabwean famers will harvest around 18,700 tonnes of ginned cotton from their on average 1.9 hectare fields in the 2012/13 season. Christoph Kaut, responsible for development policy at the Aid by Trade Foundation, the umbrella organization for CmiA: “On the whole around 200,000 people – smallholder farmers and their families – will profit from this collaboration in Zimbabwe.”
Agriculture accounts for 19.1 percent of gross domestic product in Zimbabwe. Cotton production is grown almost exclusively by smallholder farmers and, after tobacco, is the second largest cash crop in the country.
In training seminars, the smallholder famers who work with Cotton made in Africa learn sustainable and efficient methods for cultivating their fields, thus increasing both yield and income. CmiA has built up an international demand alliance to facilitate cotton sales and provide the famers access to the global market. Partner firms such as Puma, Tchibo, C&A and REWE purchase the sustainably grown cotton and process it further.