Mozambique
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Better Cotton in Mozambique

Cotton is the most important agricultural export crop in Mozambique and one of the main sources of income for rural households in the central and northern regions of the country.

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We launched a Better Cotton programme in Mozambique in 2013 and have worked closely with the government’s Cotton and Oilseeds Institute of Mozambique (IAM) since then to share learning opportunities and establish a strategic partnership. We continue to work together to address sustainable farming challenges in the country. Today, 86% of the country’s cotton farmers produce Better Cotton, managing 90% of the land under cotton cultivation. Most households have small plots — typically less than one hectare of rain-fed cotton — which they cultivate largely by hand.

Better Cotton Partners in Mozambique

The Cotton and Oilseeds Institute of Mozambique (IAM) is our Strategic Partner in Mozambique. They collaborate with Better Cotton’s country team to promote and implement the Better Cotton Standard System throughout the country with two Implementing Partners.

  • SANAM
  • SAN-JFS

We work with Implementing Partners SANAM and SAN-JFS, who provide on-the-ground training to farmers and are also national companies known as ‘concessions’ — companies the government permits to be the sole operator in a given area. In return, concessions provide farming inputs like seeds and pesticides to farmers.

IAM and our Implementing Partners work with Better Cotton Farmers throughout the country to help them adopt more sustainable production practices and create additional income sources through practices like growing other cash crops alongside cotton.

IAM also works with 5 other concessions in Mozambique:

  • Plexus Mozambique
  • Sociedade Agrícola e Pecuária (FESAP)
  • Sociedade Algodoeira de Mutuali (SAM –Mutuali)
  • China Africa Cotton (CAC)
  • Agroshawasha

Sustainability challenges

As the climate changes, farmers in Mozambique face irregular rainfall patterns, extreme weather and natural disasters. In some regions, intense heat and droughts have led to the complete loss of crops, and in others, cyclones and flooding are a concern. Poor soil health and biodiversity loss are also issues across the country.

Beyond climate change, child labour is another challenge to sustainable cotton production in Mozambique. According to a report from Mozambique’s Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, child labour affects more than one million children in the country, with many children dropping out of school before they complete their education. To tackle these challenges, our Implementing Partners have developed joint programmes with local education authorities and schools in cotton-growing regions to help prevent child labour and promote the value of children’s education. 

Find out more about the outcomes farmers are experiencing by participating in the Better Cotton programme in our latest Farmer Results Report.

When I was regularly helping my parents in the cotton field, I often had no strength left to complete my homework or play. In class, I was too tired to concentrate on my lessons, and I struggled to do my homework.

47-year-old Manuel manages his 2.5-hectare cotton smallholding in Niassa Province. And with eight children, the family depends on his ability to achieve a plentiful, healthy crop.

Get in touch

Contact our team via the contact form if you’d like to learn more, become a partner or you’re a farmer interested in farming Better Cotton.