Uganda selected as Pilot country for UN funded project

Fairtrade cotton farming community, Keita, Mali

“Improving Value addition in Cotton by-products”

UNCTAD will be implementing a project valued at approximately US$ 600,000, under the UN Development Account, to improve the value added to cotton by-products in four countries –Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe – to create economic opportunities particularly job creation, increase competitiveness of the product in external markets through value addition and increase the total income that farmers earn from growing cotton.

The project, which was secured by the Permanent Mission of Uganda to the United Nations in Geneva, is supported by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to help revamp the cotton sector. UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental agency in the United Nations system created with a principal goal to help developing countries integrate into the multilateral trading system through providing analysis, consensus building and Technical assistance.

The project is expected to improve the capacity of cotton value chain stakeholders, including government officials, the private sector and farmers’ associations in Uganda to assess the market opportunities for cotton by-products, and improve the capacity of policymakers to (a) formulate evidence-based policies that promote the value addition of cotton by-products; and (b) devise investment profiles to attract potential investors in the cotton and textile sectors.

Two experts from UNCTAD, Ms. Yanchun Zhang, the Chief, Commodity Policy Implementation and Outreach Section, and Mr. Kris Terauds, Project Officer will visit Uganda from 24 – 28 April 2017, for an inception mission with the objective of meeting the key stakeholders in the cotton value chain, particularly those involved in cotton by-products, i.e. cotton seeds and stalks. They aim at collecting information from these stakeholders, as well as establish a relationship that will help guide project activities. They will rely mainly on experts from the Cotton Development Organization (CDO) during their mission in Uganda.

Cotton is one of the leading cash-crops in Uganda providing raw materials for several local industries, such as oil and soap factories, textile industries and animal feed factories. Unfortunately, cotton production has dwindled in recent years, due, in part, to the declining returns that farmers derive from its cultivation. There are plans by the Cotton Development Organization to revive the cotton sector – through increasing cotton production.

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