• Cotton
    The cotton sector provides income for millions of people in Africa alone, especially those living in rural areas, and is an important source of foreign exchange earnings. ITC’s efforts in this sector are specifically aimed at making Africa a stronger player in the international cotton trade. A key part of this is boosting competitiveness and establishing stronger links with cotton importers, especially in Asia.
     

    Information

    Textiles and clothing production have allowed some African countries to diversify their exports and increase employment opportunities, including for low and semi-skilled workers, particularly women. Nonetheless, global trends mean African countries now need to think regionally when it comes to strategies for the cotton to clothing sector.
     

    While individual countries have difficulty establishing an entire value chain from cotton to textiles and clothing, this can be achieved at the regional level. Moreover, regional economies of scale and expertise can improve the sector’s performance and allow African countries to tap into international markets for clothing and fashion. For more information relating to ITC’s role in Africa please click here.

    An important part of ITC’s work in the Cotton Sector is to facilitate South-South cooperation along the entire cotton to clothing value chain. In addition, we focus on promoting African cotton in emerging cotton consuming countries in Asia.

    The Cotton Exporter’s Guide is a reference book that is primarily targeted at cotton producers, ginners, exporters and traders in cotton producing developing countries, mainly, but not exclusively, in Africa. The guide provides a comprehensive view of all aspects of the cotton value chain from a market perspective, it will also help government officials to gain a deeper understanding of the crucial aspects that need to be addressed in cotton export development.

    To open the slides from a general overview presentation outlining ITC approach to the Cotton Sector, please click here.

    Articles

    African Cotton Development Initiative, 2/2011

    Developing the Cotton Value Chain in Africa
    International Trade Forum Issue 4/2011

    Understanding Cotton Demand and Promoting Origin - The Example of African Cotton
    International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2011

    Connecting Industry to the Market: The Future of Cotton in Africa
    International Trade Forum Issue 2/2010
    By Matthias Knappe, Programme Manager for Cotton, Textiles and Clothing, ITC

    Organic Cotton, International Trade Forum - Issue 1-2/2008
    By Peter Hulm and Natalie Domeisen, ITC

    Textiles and Clothing, International Trade Forum Magazines 

    Technical Papers

    Cotton and Climate Change, 2011

    Women in Cotton, 2011

    The Chinese Market for Clothing, 2011

    South Africa: A Market for Clothing from Africa, 2010

     

     

    Data and Research

    Expand this section to find out which countries are the biggest importers and exporters of Cotton.
    Click on the image to the left to access a map showing the biggest exporters of cotton.Click on the image to the left to access a map showing the biggest exporters of cotton.
    Click on the image to the left to access a map showing the biggest importers of cotton.Click on the image to the left to access a map showing the biggest importers of cotton.

    Advisory Services

    ITC supports cotton-producing countries in developing comprehensive sector strategies along the cotton to clothing value chain. In addition, ITC accompanies sector stakeholders in implementing the strategies.
     

    ITC advisory services place emphasis on value-addition, fibre transformation and reduction of contamination to capture possible price premiums.

    To find out more, please contact us.

    Training

    ITC’s training programmes allow successful cotton producers in countries such as China, Thailand, Turkey, India and Viet Nam to share their knowledge with cotton professionals from Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa. This includes the transfer of cotton growing and processing technologies, such as good agricultural practices and development of high yielding and resistant cottonseed varieties.
     For more information about our work on marketing missions and capacity-building seminars, have a look at our previous training events. Moreover, training focuses on the value addition of fibre, the utilization of by-products as well as marketing and promotion of cotton lint.

    Networks

    Sorry. This section of the site will be developed in due course.
     

    Projects

    ITC’s efforts are aimed at making Africa a stronger player in the international cotton trade. This depends on boosting competiveness and establishing stronger links with cotton importers, especially in Asia. To compete better, all stakeholders – from farmers and ginners to commission agents and government officials – need a better understanding of destination markets and consumers, as well as the value chain itself.
     

    ITC’s ongoing projects in the cotton sector fall under the All ACP Agricultural Commodity Programme and focus on the following areas:

    • Building capacities in cotton trading and marketing.
    • Learning from success. Training programmes organized by ITC allow successful cotton producers in countries such as China, Turkey and India to share their knowledge with cotton professionals from Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.
    • Developing capacity to transform cotton. Through ITC training, successful textile and clothing producers are relaying their experiences to African countries.
    • Promoting African cotton. ITC also links up African producers with potential customers through promotional activities in Asia.
    • Sourcing from other developing countries. Encouraging African producers to search out suppliers in the developing world promotes savings on items ranging from seeds and fertilizer to textile technology.
    • Encouraging intra-African cooperation.

    For more information on past projects, please click here.