Organic cotton value chain in Colombia

Project title: Support for the sustainable development of the organic cotton value chain in Colombia

Funded by: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Lead agency: Fundación ProSierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Prosierra)

Country: Colombia

Overall term: 2019 to 2021

The global market share of organic cotton has grown from 3% of global production in 2013 to 15% in 2017. Duty-free access for textiles and garments to the United States under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) boosted Colombia’s cotton demand across the past decade. The country is home to local germplasm yielding the highest-quality long and extra-long cotton fiber. Yet the potential for tapping into demand for organic and certified cotton products has not been explored.

In 2017, the Pro-Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Foundation coordinated a pilot initiative on the cultivation of organic cotton in the village of El Congo, District of Santa Marta, Magdalena. The initiative was successful and confirmed the high potential for organic cotton cultivation in the region. The project “Support for the sustainable development of the organic cotton value chain in Colombia” was launched in 2019 with the aim of helping small-scale organic cotton producers transition to organic cotton farming, certify and aggregate their produce to tap into the growing global demand for organic cotton products.

In 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) funded the project as part of their Latin American program “Algodón +”. The project was also endorsed by “Socila – Support Organic Cotton in Latin America”, a program that promotes organic cotton production and processing in Latin America. Our experts are providing feasibility studies for the development and scale-up of the project at national level, as well as monitoring & evaluation of the project.

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