Written September 2009
Amadou Gbian from the village of Bembéréké in Benin looks at the future with more confidence. He is very happy with the 1,200 kilograms he harvested during the last cropping season on his half-hectare plot.
His is one of the nearly 500 showcase farms set up with funds provided to the Association Interprofessionelle du Coton through the USAID West Africa Cotton Improvement Program (WACIP), a three-year project implemented by IFDC and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Amadou’s farm serves to demonstrate to neighboring farmers that applying good agricultural practices can significantly increase crop yields.
Like Amadou, hundreds of thousands of farmers in the C-4, or Cotton-4 countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali) have learned how to grow cotton in a sustainable and profitable manner to produce greater yields and higher incomes.
USAID WACIP seeks to boost the productivity and profitability of the cotton sector in the C-4 countries, working with farmers, researchers, input distributors, cotton companies and inter-professional associations. USAID WACIP grants allow local partners to undertake activities that improve yields (of both cotton and food crops), reduce production costs and increase incomes for cotton farmers.