The three institutions that are part of the Beyond the Cotton initiative gathered in Brasilia to evaluate the activities carried out in the first year of the project and to define the workplan for the following year. Representatives of the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger, the Brazilian Cooperation Agency and the Brazilian Cotton Institute have set four targets for 2019. The Beyond Cotton initiative promotes South-South cooperation among Brazil and four African countries to improve cotton production and marketing chain.
The initiative’s steering committee set the goal of systematizing two good practices in small-scale cotton production. The two good practices were identified in Brazil. The production and marketing models developed by the smallholder farmers of these two regions and the results obtained will be systematized and shared with governmental officials and smallholder farmers from the four African countries participating in the Beyond the Cotton initiative.
The Brazilian experiences will serve as a source of inspiration for Benin, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania to see the potential and understand ways of linking cotton byproducts and food crops associated with cotton production to stable markets, including school feeding programmes.
In line with this activity, the steering committee also defined that the relevant actors from each partner country will participate in the Brazilian Cotton Congress to strengthen the exchange of knowledge and experiences among the five countries.
Another goal for 2019 is the finalization of two of the four country-specific projects. The country-specific project contains details of the action plan for the Beyond the Cotton initiative in each of the partner countries, and Mozambique and Benin will be the first to complete this step in 2019.
Two participatory diagnostic missions were also listed as one of the goals for this year, one in Kenya and one in Tanzania. The mission to Tanzania has already taken place.
From 29 to 31 May, a workshop was held in Morogoro, Tanzania. Members of the initiative worked with government representatives to elaborate a diagnostic paper on the cotton chain in Tanzania, and more specifically in the province of Mwanza. The detailed diagnosis is an essential part of the Beyond the Cotton initiative because it provides the basis for the initiative’s intervention in the country, which will be detailed in the country-specific project.
The WFP Tanzania office and representatives from Tanzania’s Ministries of Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Research and Innovation, Commerce, and Education participated in the workshop. Each participating institution is working in parallel in the different sections of the document, based on the discussions held during the workshop. Once the document is completed, it will be validated by all stakeholders from the trilateral cooperation (Brazil, WFP and Tanzania).
Beyond Cotton is a joint initiative of the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, with support from the Brazilian Cotton Institute. It aims to support smallholder cotton producers and public institutions in African countries to connect cotton by-products, such as seed oil and cake, and associated crops, such as maize, sorghum and beans, to reliable markets, including school feeding programmes.