On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supports innovative ideas from businesses through the Sub-Saharan Cotton Initiative, aiming to make cotton and textile supply chains in Sub-Saharan Africa more sustainable. This initiative provides support to business-led consortia in implementing their projects.

  • Projects are funded in the following thematic areas: Sustainable production methods, improved seeds, Climate protection and adaptation, Local processing, Digital traceability, and Procurement of sustainable African cotton.
  • The projects aim to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers. Therefore, the focus is on practical implementation in the partner countries of the BMZ.
  • The goal is to mobilise business engagement, strengthen the responsibility of global actors, and promote innovative projects that are in demand within the supply chain.

The call for proposals has been closed. For more information about the initiative and the application conditions, please visit here.

For further inquiries, please contact us at: cotton-initiative(at)giz.de

Funded projects

Currently, the following four projects are being supported. These projects operate in a total of seven Sub-Saharan African countries: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Togo, and Chad.

Growing Benin's Organic Cotton Sector

Supporting the Sustainable Cotton Production (SSCP) In Côte d'Ivoire, Chad and Togo


Climate Adaptation and Resilience – a Pan-African Learning & Knowledge Exchange Project on Improved Soil Management (CAR-ISMa)


The cotton sector, from the field to ginning, contributes to the livelihoods of over 40 million people in Africa. However, cotton cultivation has many challenges: improper pesticide usage harms humans and the environment, incomes for farmers are often not sustainable, and only a small portion of processing and value addition occurs locally. Moreover, productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa remains low, reaching only 50 percent of the global average yield.

To make agricultural supply chains sustainable, interventions by state international cooperation alone are insufficient in the production countries. In particular, the economy contributes to the professionalisation of agricultural processes through its innovative capacity, expertise, and additional resources.

Greater transparency along supply chains, improved environmental standards, and a fairer distribution of value-added chains can only be achieved when internationally operating companies, global intermediaries, raw material suppliers, international standardisation organisations, and local partners work together. Global challenges require new forms of cooperation with the private sector.

To address these challenges, the Global Project "Sustainability and Value Added in Agricultural Supply Chains" of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has consulted main actors in the cotton supply chain how cotton and textile supply chains in Sub-Saharan Africa can be made more socially and environmentally sustainable, and economically viable.