A pan-African learning & knowledge exchange project on improved Soil Management

Promoting sustainable production methods for improved soil management to strengthen the resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change.

Fact sheet

Commodity: Cotton

Countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Zambia

Duration: 12/2021 to 11/2024

Target groups: Approx. 100,000 CmiA-contracted farmers 

Total volume: 2,802,600 EUR


  • Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF): 
    The foundation was established in 2005 by Prof. Dr. Michael Otto with the aim of helping small farmers in Africa to help themselves through trade and to improve their living and working conditions, as well as to promote the protection of our environment. With one of the world's leading standards for sustainable cotton, Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), the foundation implements its goals. The income from licences for CmiA-certified cotton is reinvested in the cotton-growing regions of sub-Saharan Africa, following the mechanisms of a social business.
  • Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) Suisse SA: 
    Founded in 1851, the company is one of the world's five leading processors and traders of agricultural products, such as coffee, sugar, grain, oilseeds, rice, and cotton. The aim of LDC Suisse is to create fair and sustainable values that are reflected in partnership-based cooperation with producers. In the case of cotton, this approach is implemented, among other things, through the long-standing cooperation with CmiA.
  • Compagnie Ivoirienne pour le Développement des Textiles (CIDT): 
    The Ivorian cotton company with headquarters in Bouaké was founded in 1974 and is the oldest cotton company in the country. CIDT works to improve the living conditions of smallholder farmers. In addition to marketing cotton, the company is also involved in projects to provide health care and improve educational opportunities in rural regions.
  • Sociedade Algodoeira do Niassa JFS: 
    The oldest cotton company in Mozambique was founded in 1939. The company has a great amount of experience in the industry and in the field of sustainability. Through partnerships, JFS is committed to improving access to financial services and marketing opportunities beyond cotton, as well as electricity supply in rural areas.
  • Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) Zambia:
    The company has extensive experience in the cotton sector in Zambia and has been a leading agricultural enterprise of the Louis Dreyfus Company since 2012. LDC Zambia supports smallholder farmers by pre-financing inputs for cotton and other commodities such as maize, soybean or groundnuts to promote income diversification and build resilience to market changes.
Cotton female farmers during a training session in Côte d’Ivoire (© AbTF)
Cotton female farmers during a training session in Côte d’Ivoire (© AbTF)

Project description

The overall objective of the consortium project is to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers through sustainable production methods for soil management, to strengthen their resilience and at the same time to contribute to climate change mitigation. The focus is on smallholder farmers, who are supported by local cotton companies in improving their production methods within the framework of CmiA certification. To this end, measures such as training of trainers for soil management or the creation of training materials for agricultural advisors are planned.

Around 100,000 people involved in cotton production, including 20 % women and 15 % young adults, will benefit from these measures. In addition, an area of 92,000 ha, which is roughly the size of the federal state of Berlin, is to be upgraded through measures to improve soil fertility.

Another focus of the project is the cross-company and cross-country exchange of knowledge between the cotton companies. These learning experiences will be taken up by the broad CmiA partner network and will flow into the further development of production methods across the continent after the project is completed.