Cotton is the most important agricultural export crop in Mozambique, and one of the major sources of income for rural households in central and northern Mozambique. Most farmers cultivate less than one hectare of cotton.
In Mozambique, smallholder farmers participating in the BCI programme manage 90% of the land under cotton cultivation, with 86% of the country’s cotton farmers producing Better Cotton. BCI Farmers grow rain-fed cotton, largely by hand, with many growing their crops on plots inherited from their families. As the climate changes, irregular rainfall patterns are bringing significant challenges to farmers, with droughts leading in some cases to the complete loss of farmers’ crops.
BCI has worked closely with the governments Cotton Institute of Mozambique (IAM) to share learning and establish a strategic partnership. We continue to work together to address sustainability challenges in the country such as pest management, preventing soil erosion, and protecting water sources.
Who grows Better Cotton?
In the 2016-17 season, 68,599 licensed BCI Farmers in Mozambique produced 9,000 metric tonnes of Better Cotton lint on 59,000 hectares.
BCI’s Strategic Partner The Cotton Institute of Mozambique (IAM) take a lead role as the implementer of Better Cotton in the country, ensuring that Better Cotton Principles and Criteria are met for all cotton produced by Mozambique.
BCI’s Implementing Partners in Mozambique are concessions that are in most cases ginners. According to the country’s legislation, cotton concessions are companies that are given the right by the government to be the sole operator in a given area, where in return they provide farming inputs to the farmers, namely seed and pesticides. The country has 14 concessions that are mostly national companies – such as SANAM, SAN-JFS and Mocotex – with few multinational concessions such as OLAM.
OLAM became BCI’s Implementing Partner in Mozambique working with farmers to produce the country’s first Better Cotton harvest in 2013, with 2014’s harvest scaling up across more regions with Implementing Partners including SANAM and SAN-JFS coming on board and Mocotex during harvest 2015. Implementing Partners have limited financial resources to promote Better Cotton in Mozambique, so BCI and IAM are working together to develop fundraising strategies for capacity building, to help secure the future of Better Cotton production in Mozambique.
When is cotton grown in Mozambique?
In Mozambique, cotton is sown from January to February and harvested from May to August.
Stories from the Field
Find out how a licensed BCI Farmer implemented best practice techniques and raised his yields. Read more.
For the most up to date information and more data from the Better Cotton harvest in Mozambique, please refer to our most recent Harvest Report.