For Immediate Release
Cotonou, Benin - After seven years, the USAID West African Cotton Improvement Program (WACIP) has successfully completed its activities to reduce poverty and hunger by helping increase both cotton farmers' incomes and the added value of cotton processed by artisans and ginners. The program, implemented by the International Fertilizer Development Center, supported the cotton sectors in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali, commonly known as the C-4 countries, plus Senegal.
The program focused on the dissemination of good agricultural practices (GAP), integrated pest management and integrated soil fertility management in the C-4 countries. By applying sustainable techniques, producers are able to substantially increase the productivity of cotton in combination with rotational crops (such as maize and cowpeas). WACIP demonstrated that, if the appropriate agricultural techniques are applied, a farmer's income can rise between 30% and 50%.
Among its key accomplishments, WACIP achieved the following:
- Increased yields for seed cotton (17%), maize (18%) and cowpeas (31%) for almost 76,000 WACIP?supported farms.
- Increased gross margins (returns) per hectare for seed cotton (43%), maize (7%) and cowpeas (153%) for WACIP?supported farms.
- Trained over 1,100 extension agents and for more than 900,000 farmers.
On October 30 and 31, USAID WACIP is holding a regional forum: Final Project Results and Perspectives on Cotton and Food Security in West Africa. The forum brings together U.S. experts and representatives of West Africa regional organizations to review the impact of the diffusion of GAP, share experiences, and exchange information on agricultural policies related to climate change and food security of member states.
A new follow-on project, now under design by USAID/West Africa, will continue support by the American people to the cotton sector in Benin, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad.
Last updated: February 26, 2014