The MoU was signed by Better Cotton’s director of fundraising, Rebecca Owen, and Tajikistan’s Minister of Agriculture, his Excellency Qurbon Khakimzoda, at the recently held Tajikistan Investment and Development Forum, in London.

It establishes that Better Cotton and the Ministry will develop a strategic roadmap for more sustainable cotton production in Tajikistan, according to the Better Cotton Standard System, considering the requirements of the global market.

The aim is to prioritise the expansion of more sustainable cotton production, with a focus on both environmental and social outcomes. Notably, improving the quality of cotton fibre, farmer well-being and overall agricultural sustainability are in scope.

Based on the collaboration, both parties will organise outreach and awareness activities across the country to promote the benefits of more sustainable growing practices, whilst the adoption of practical innovations will be explored to determine how domestic farmers can improve.

Fundamental to this shift will be the availability and allocation of financial resources, says the organisation. For this, Better Cotton explains it will work with the Ministry to identify new sources of funding and investment that can unlock new opportunities across the country’s cotton sector.

Rebecca Owen, director of fundraising at Better Cotton, said: “This MoU will create opportunities to improve the livelihoods, well-being and market access for cotton farming communities.”

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Better Cotton says its programme in Tajikistan has already shown results. In the 2019-2020 cotton season, synthetic fertiliser use among Better Cotton Farmers was 62% lower than Comparison Farmers, while yields were 15% higher.

Last week, Better Cotton hosted stakeholders in Cote D’Ivoire to explore new partnerships and programmes across West and Central Africa.