Egyptian Cotton production and exports are at their highest for five years – following a renewed period of emphasis on improving sustainability: season 2018/2019 saw an increase of 45% in exports. The Cotton Egypt Association (CEA), the independent body responsible for the global brand, has been supporting the implementation of “The Egyptian Cotton Project” activities that englobe an innovative training, education, and awareness approach across the cotton supply chain.
According to the article, the cooperation with the Better Cotton Initiative has allowed the deployment of pilot cotton plantations, supported by cotton traders, manufacturers, and brands to pave the way for a BCI start-up program in Egypt envisaged to start for the 2020/2021 cotton season. The Egyptian Cotton Project is implementing education programs that promote farmers' and workers' health and welfare, gender equality, and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth. The Egyptian Cotton Project delivered technical workshops to 392 farmers on-field management, irrigation, IPM, and harvesting. Cotton cultivation calendars with timeline guidance and best practices were distributed to cotton farmers and workers
A reworked curriculum on organic cultivation has been extended nationwide by the Ministry of Education reaching around 150,000 students. The project introduced an entrepreneurship curriculum; and additional training of teachers in Agricultural schools has been rolled-out, focussing on sustainable practices and cotton contamination management. Trial areas adopting sustainable practices have seen a 30% increase in cotton yields and a 25-30% decrease in water consumption according to the project’s data.
Read More: Egyptian Cotton Sees Significant Advancements Following Sustainability Drive
Capacity building for cotton farmers and trainers
Identify range of market-based mechanisms for a future-ready cotton value chain
Platform for exchange of good cotton production practices
Development of standards and audit system for sustainable cotton farming
Sustainability criteria for cotton production processes