For Immediate Release
Date Posted: 6 July 2021
Highlights from the Memorandum of Understanding between the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) and the International Trade Centre (ITC):
The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) are working together to double the yields of at least 50,000 smallholder cotton farmers in Zambia by January 2024.
Officially dubbed ‘Strengthening Productive Capabilities and Value Chain Alliances’, the project calls on ICAC to develop tools and training procedures specific to Zambia’s climate and soil characteristics. In addition to creating electronic training manuals for the project, ICAC will deploy:
The project in Zambia is part of a larger agreement the International Trade Centre signed with the European Union to implement the enterprise-level component of the project ‘Support to Business-Friendly and Inclusive National and Regional Policies, and Strengthening Productive Capabilities and Value Chains’, in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
The project has three major components:
The project employs the International Trade Centre’s Alliances for Action approach, a participatory partnership model for sustainable agribusiness from farm to final product. It focuses on empowering the producers and increasing productivity and competitiveness.
'ICAC’s pragmatic approach to increase yields complements our own work streams on cotton grading and marketing as well as fibre value addition perfectly', says Matthias Knappe, Programme Manager of Fibres, Textiles and Clothing at ITC. 'We are proud that this all-inclusive approach brings on board all national cotton stakeholders, from farmers and ginners to the government and research institutions'.
ITC works together with major stakeholders such as the Cotton Board of Zambia, the Cotton Development Trust, the Cotton Association of Zambia, the Zambia Cotton Ginners Association and the Handloom Textiles and Technologies Association of Zambia, among others. At the government level, the primary counterpart is the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Knappe explains that this diverse group of stakeholders will enrich the project’s experiences as each institution will contribute accordingly to its expertise.
'ICAC and ITC will allow beneficiaries to learn in their local languages and use their own electronic devices. As a trustful partner, we are confident in the excellent results Zambian farmers and the overall sector will achieve', Knappe concluded.
'I am really pleased that through this cooperation with ITC we are able to empower farmers in Zambia, a country with some of the lowest yields in the world', said Kai Hughes, Executive Director of ICAC.
'Not only will we be able to improve seed quality, but through our global ‘4 Simple Steps’ programme, we will be able to help growers double their yields within three to five years. And this is supported by two innovative technologies that will, for the first time, provide farmers with low or no literacy access to knowledge through the ICAC Soil and Plant Health App', he said.
About the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)
Formed in 1939, the ICAC is an association of cotton producing, consuming and trading countries. It acts as a catalyst for change by helping member countries maintain a healthy world cotton economy; provides transparency to the world cotton market by serving as a clearinghouse for technical information on cotton production; and serves as a forum for discussing cotton issues of international significance. The ICAC does not have a role in setting market prices or in intervening in market mechanisms. For more information, please visit www.icac.org, Twitter or LinkedIn.
About the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Alliances for Action
The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
ITC’s Alliances for Action is a participatory partnership model that engages smallholder farmers and small firms to manage risk and facilitate networks that provide enabling technical expertise and capacity building. It targets cyclical investment to address economic challenges and aims to derisk investment through increased competitiveness and value addition at origin.
For more information, visit www.intracen.org
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