To mark World Cotton Day, celebrated on October 7, the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger Brazil participated in an event organized by FAO, the Brazilian Cotton Institute (IBA) and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) and presented the details of the Beyond Cotton Project. The event aimed to give visibility to the people and institutions involved in the production, processing and trade of cotton, placing the product in a strategic position for the economic and social development of rural territories in Latin America and Africa, in a post-COVID-19 context .
Albaneide Peixinho, Project Coordinator at the WFP Centre of Excellence, participated in the panel “Contributions of South-South Cooperation to strengthen the Cotton Sector in Latin America and Africa” and presented the project Beyond Cotton, which aims to support smallholder cotton farmers and public institutions in African countries in linking cotton by-products and intercropped crops – such as corn, sorghum and beans – to safe markets, including school feeding programmes. In her presentation, she highlighted that the project’s main mission is to improve the quality of life of family farmers by strengthening sales channels and the flow of sustainable certified production.
“It is not just about production, we need to offer food and nutrition education to these farmers,” she said. “It is also important for them to be able to sell their products to generate income and buy other foods that will form the basis of their diet”, she added. The Project Coordinator also recalled that Beyond Cotton also contributes to raise awareness among governmental and non-governmental partners so that they can purchase food from cotton producers. “Our focus is especially on institutional programmes, such as school feeding, and also to make the population understand that the food produced in a consortium with cotton is a high quality food”, she said.
The project is already in the implementation phase in Mozambique and in Benin, Tanzania and Kenya the work plan is being built. The Beyond Cotton project is a partnership between the WFP Centre of Excellence, the Brazilian Cotton Institute and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency. Learn more about the project here. To watch the recording of the World Cotton Day event, visit this link.