Program of Brazil-FAO International Cooperation
©FAO/Max Toranzos


Cotton is one of the most important agricultural products in the world and its production is significant for the generation of employment and income, thus contributing to the food security of family farmers in Latin America and the Caribbean, and being an alternative for overcoming rural poverty. It is considered that around 350 million people throughout the world carry out economic activities related to cotton, which is one of the 20 most important commodities in the world market in terms of its value.

The Government of Brazil, through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ABC/MRE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), together with seven partner countries - Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Haiti, Paraguay and Peru - have joined efforts through Trilateral South-South Cooperation, for the implementation of the Project + Cotton.

Sustainable cotton

From the perspective of the Project, the cotton item is part not only of a production system, but also of a chain of transformation, aggregation of value, trade and consumption.

To strengthen this important crop, governments, extension agents and researchers, as well as members of the textile and apparel sector have a key role to play.

In that manner, initiatives from Latin American countries producing cotton are connected, seeking innovations in terms of research, machinery, sustainable techniques of crop and production management, seeds, adaptation to climate change, among others, contemplating different production models and segments of producers.

The Project seeks to contribute to food security, to the eradication of rural poverty and hunger, the promotion of gender equality and autonomy of women farmers, decent work and economic growth, responsible production and consumption, as well as alliances to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Objective: build the elements to ensure the sustainability of Latin American cotton production through a system approach, with the collaboration of Brazilian institutions recognized for their knowledge and experience in research and public policy, technical assistance and rural extension, marketing and organization of the value chain.

As an essential strategy for rural development, the Project addresses the mainstreaming of the gender approach, climate change and indigenous peoples.

Conceptual axes of the Project + Cotton

Sustainable technologies: Promotion of sustainable and integrated crops based on strengthening the capacities of specialists, institutions, and producers. The objective is to promote profitable production systems, with less environmental impact, and rational use of soil, water and fertilizers, recovering biodiversity.

Strategic alliances: Creation of dialogue spaces for public and/or public-private partnerships, integrating various institutions in the construction of policies, programs, and actions to benefit family farming and cotton crops to recover the competitiveness of the sector and the sustainable development of the territories.

Social innovation: Promotion of the competitiveness of the sector and creation of capacities for women, men and youth, by means of information tools, resource management and strengthening of organizational models. It focuses on the promotion of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension (ATER) systems, improved, more inclusive and comprehensive and associative models among partner countries.

Inclusive markets: Promoting the development of markets that contribute to the increase of quality jobs and income in the cotton value chain, improving the food security of families. The work focuses on repositioning cotton in a differentiated way and with added value in local, regional and international markets, by way of good production and marketing practices, sustainability certifications, among others.

Main actions developed in the partner countries

  • Field days, demonstration and validation plots
  • Investment in seeds
  • Generation of knowledge
  • Technical Assistance and Rural Extension (ATER)
  • Access to markets
  • Support for public policies

Project participants

  • National governments and local governments;
  • Farmers;
  • Researchers and extension agents;
  • Rural youth;
  • Indigenous people;
  • Associations and cooperatives;
  • Universities, agricultural schools and research centers;
  • National and Brazilian partners.

Cooperating Brazilian Institutions

  • Brazilian Association of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Companies (ASBRAER)
  • Brazilian Association of Cotton Producers (ABRAPA)
  • Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (EMBRAPA)
  • State Company of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension of Paraíba (EMATER-PB)
  • National Subsecretariat of Solidarity Economy of the Ministry of Labor (SENAES-MT)

Guiding principles of Trilateral South-South Cooperation

  • Equality between the associates;
  • Mutual benefit;
  • No interference by cooperating countries in the affairs of other States;
  • Voluntariness and response to the priorities of developing countries.

Expected Results:

The public institutions of the partner countries are endowed with new capacities and levels of coordination strengthened and expanded (public and public/private) in order to support the development and general organization of the cotton chain; with emphasis on the cotton production systems of family farming; working to achieve the impact of "Contributing to the sustainable development of the cotton sector of the partner countries".