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Cotton & co

Solidaridad

Project: Haachanga and Sinazeze Farmers Groups
Location: Monze & Sinazeze | Zambia
Date: Tuesday 18 December 2012 & Wednesday 19 December 2012
Partners: Cotton Association of Zambia, supported by Solidaridad

What did the hitchhikers do?
The cotton industry is essential for Zambia: With around 200,000 cotton farmers and an estimated one million dependents, it has become the country’s largest quasi-formal distribution network. This important agricultural sector relies almost solely on the bigger grower/ginning companies, who give the farmers a loan to produce and deduct this loan from the amount they pay for seed cotton subsequently produced by the farmers. To become more efficient, less prone to risks and to have a stronger voice, many cotton farmer unite in farmer groups. The hitchhikers visit two of these farmer groups in the southern province of Zambia. However, these farmer groups do not limit their activities to farming alone, there is much more to be done!

Who are the partners involved?
The Cotton Association of Zambia (CAZ) was established in 2005 so as to provide a platform for smallholder cotton farmers to have an input in the operations and future development of the cotton industry in Zambia. CAZ focuses on lobby and advocacy on behalf of cotton producers with ginning companies concerning seed cotton prices and contracts, as well as with different Ministries regarding cotton policies, environmental issues, taxes and the provision of technical extension services. Moreover, through the Information Centres of the District Farmers’ Associations, CAZ provides services to its members on the household level in areas of information, yield improvement, training programs, HIV/AIDS awareness and gender mainstreaming.
Solidaridad Southern Africa works with the Cotton Association of Zambia (CAZ) to promote sustainable cotton production and strengthen the position of smallholder producers in Zambia. Solidaridad is an international organization dedicated to responsible food production to feed the growing world population and to providing the world with an alternative to fossil fuels like oil and gas. Solidaridad is convinced that the agricultural sector can produce more efficiently so that it will be able to feed to world population in 2050, as well as supply energy and plastic to the industry. That is why Solidaridad is investing in enterprising farmers in developing countries and putting emphasis on the improvement of their land use, so that production can increase while at the same time harm to people and the environment is decreased. Solidaridad focuses on the production chains that matter worldwide and where changes have great impact: coffee, tea, cacao, fruit, textiles, cotton, soy, palm oil, sugar cane, gold and cattle breeding.

What were the hitchhikers experiences? Can we see some photos, footage or blogs?
Watch below episode 15 in which the hitchhikers bring a visit to the Cotton Association of Zambia.

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