Cotton made in Africa now supports more than one million cotton farmers in Africa

Cotton made in Africa now supports more than one million cotton farmers in Africa

The Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) initiative says it is now supporting more than 1m cotton farmers in the continent – 17% of whom are women.

Founded in 2005 by Dr Michael Otto, CmiA is different in that it is a sustainable cotton from Africa that is cultivated with the exclusive use of rainwater.

In 2017, a record sum of some 90m textiles bore the CmiA quality label. This is a 79% increase compared to the previous year.

"Sustainability is not a niche product anymore," says Tina Stridde, managing director of the Aid by Trade Foundation. "Every textile that bears the CmiA label is a step in the right direction."

On average, a CmiA smallholder farmer has a crop area of just under 1.5 hectares. In addition to farmers, more than 11,000 factory workers in the African cotton processing industry are part of the initiative.

Around 496,000 metric tonnes of ginned cotton from Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda have been produced according to the CmiA sustainability criteria in 2017.

Meanwhile, in order to provide additional support for people in the CmiA cotton growing regions, CmiA also realises projects to foster the availability of clean drinking water, hygiene measures and sanitary facilities.

In 2016, CmiA became the biggest standard for sustainable cotton from Africa, covering a cultivation area of over 1.1m hectares.