The project set out to improve the profitability and competitiveness of small-holder cotton production, making it an attractive enterprise providing a sustainable supply of seed cotton to local ginneries. It targeted the development and implementation of better management practices (BMP) that result in more sustainable production of cotton. The project has been implemented through introduction of improved practices at field level, involving farmers individually as well as through representative organizations, and providing operational lessons and recommendations with regard to small-holder production improvement in market-oriented production systems (Kenya) and those in concession-oriented production environments (Mozambique). The project aimed to build linkages within the value chain to ensure farmers have access to inputs, technologies and information that will enable them to produce more cotton more competitively. The project was part of the now completed EU All ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme (AAACP), which provided substantive co-financing.
The project was operationally completed by the end of 2013, after which a final workshop was organized in Mozambique in December 2013. In line with its design, the project has tested at pilot levels improved, affordable technology packages resulting in increased net incomes for participating farmers. The focus was placed on utilization of improved seeds, crop management practices and reduced pesticide applications. Farmer Field Schools were established in both countries involving in total some 3,000 farmers in Mozambique and approximately 2,000 in Kenya. Result obtained indicated that the training and guidance provided to the farmers (through training of trainers, field days etc) have yielded positive results, showing higher yields and higher net incomes for participating farmers as measured against control groups. Given the scale and scope of the project, the results are to be taken further for larger scale application. For that purpose the two national institutions involved (Instituto do Algodao de Mocambique - IAM in Mozambique and Kenya Agricultural Research Institute - KARI in cooperation with the Cotton Development Authority - CODA in Kenya) are seen to be the appropriate entities. Detailed information about project activities, including result assessments and baseline data are available in the (unedited) final technical project report as prepared by CABI. The report on the final project workshop is also available.
For additional information on the project activities, results or possible follow-up, CABI - Nairobi can be contacted m.akiri(at)cabi.org or through www.cabi.org