Africa Regional: Competitive African Cotton Initiative (COMPACI)

In total 15.4 million people in SSA live directly from cotton production. Against this background, the Competitive African Cotton Initiative (COMPACI) aims at enabling 680,000 small-scale farmers in twelve countries of SSA (Zambia/ Malawi/Mozambique/ Benin/Burkina Faso/Cameroon/Ivory Coast/Ethiopia/Ghana/Tanzania/ Uganda) to sustainably increase the productivity of their cotton and food crops production by the end of 2016, thereby raising their income by 45%. In this way, the initiative reaches nearly 30% of all cotton farmers in SSA. Since cotton sales contribute up to 50% of the smallholders’ cash income, it allows them to improve their living conditions. Partners: GIZ, DEG, AbTF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gatsby Foundation, private cotton companies in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) who contribute over 50% to the financing Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), an Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) initiative, facilitates market access of cotton farmers by helping them brand their cotton according to the CmiA quality label and by creating a direct link to textile retailers. CmiA is one of the most advanced initiatives worldwide to promote branded conventional SSA cotton.

• Training of small-scale cotton farmers in sustainable production/ cultivation techniques according to Cotton made in Africa Standard
• Linking farmers to global market for sustainable cotton through certification of cotton production according to CmiA
• Business management training in form of ‘Farmer Business Schools’
• Support of the establishment of village banks
• Strengthening female producer groups
• Advising African governments in the introduction/ implementation of national cotton sector strategies
• Collaboration with Pan African cotton associations

Objectives listed below and activities with regard to gender in COMPACI are based on the results of an intensive gender analysis conducted in the different project regions.
1. Increasing women’s share in cotton production
2. Increasing women’s participation/ leadership in producer organizations
3. Increasing women’s access to credit
4. Increasing women’s access to contracts and payments
5. Increasing gender capacity of cotton companies
6. Improving gender oriented M&E Each COMPACI partner employed a gender officer who is in charge of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of gender specific activities. Sensitization workshops on gender issues took place for management, field staff and communities to create awareness and provide tools to improve equal access for women to extension services. A core activity is the support of existing or forming of new women groups. These groups share fields and receive inputs as well as training from the cotton companies.

Achievements as of Dec. 2015:

  • Nb of Female Farmers trained in Farmer Business Schools: >20,000
  • Nb of women organized in female clubs/ associations: 30,000
  • Nb of Female Farmers trained in Cotton growing: 135,000


Daniela Broeker, COMPACI

The competition entry ”Competitive African Cotton Initiative (COMPACI) from GIZ Zambia can be downloaded here:

28 Africa Regional: Competitive African Cotton Initiative (COMPACI) - Gender Competition 2016

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