Paraíba Cotton Project, an inspiration for countries all over the world
The state of Paraíba, in the Brazilian Northeast, played host to a team of the United Nations Organizations Centre of Excellence against Hunger. The delegation came to the country to get a closer look at the Paraíba Cotton Project, aimed at promoting the product's productive chain in the state.
The purpose of the international visit was to identify best practices that may be replicated in Benin, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania. The four African countries are the focus of the Beyond Cotton programme, which helps farmers outflow cotton by-products such as oil and intercropped products like corn, sorghum and beans.
This is not the first time that the Paraíba Cotton is presented to international organisations. According to the Paraíba State Government, over 40 countries have had the opportunity of finding out more about the Brazilian initiative in important cotton sector events.
The Paraíba Cotton Project promotes the intercropped production of fibre with food crops. The food crops are sold in local and regional markets, including the school food programme.
The main goal is to foster the participation of family farmers in the organic cotton chain. Farmers are supplied with technical assistance to improve yield rates and lower their costs. According to the Paraiba state government, cotton grown sustainably has been securing environmental and economic benefits to farming families. Prices are secured through a purchase and sales contract, negotiated between farmers and the project's commercial partners.
Over 300 producers haver already signed up for the Paraíba Cotton Project this year. In 2018, the expectation is for each farmer to cultivate an area between one and two hectares, with yield reaching 1,000 to 1,200 kilos of cotton per hectare. The raw cotton (lint and seed) will be sold at R$ 2.40 per kilo.