The European Union (EU) is providing substantial funding for two projects that will help small holders in Africa produce contamination-free cotton.

The funding, which is part of the Program for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP), is improving the operations of cotton quality testing centres in West, Central and East Africa, including the development of two regional testing centres in Mali and Tanzania. It is also supporting a project to produce contamination-free cotton in West African countries.

Both projects should ultimately help producers command higher prices for contamination-free cotton that is classified according to international standards.

The EU support for the African cotton sector is channelled through the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) and sponsored by the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).