In 2020, German Cooperation started his support to the cotton and textile sector in Senegal. An initial two-year project with Sodefitex, Senegal’s only cotton ginning plant, and the FNPC (National Federation of Cotton producers), provided training and equipment for around 700 small cotton producers, as well as capacity building for Sodefitex, which works in close collaboration with the producers. The aim was to help them gradually convert their conventional production to organic cotton, a niche with high value on the international market.

Following this project, GIZ then initiated the German organization SEQUA to continue this program in collaboration with the German knitwear association Gesamtmasche. The three-year program began in December 2021 and aims to gradually introduce more farmers to organic culture, improve yields and ultimately the volume of organic cotton through the establishment of school fields where producers are introduced to innovative farmers techniques to increase yields. The concept of the farmer field school is to create a space for sharing knowledge and learning new techniques, while being at the heart of a cotton field.

In Senegal, the average organic cotton yield was 200 kg/ha. At the end of the 2022/2023 season. Experimentation in six (06) field schools produced an average yield of 841 kg/ha. Post-harvest yields ranged from 424 kg/ha to 1,168 kg/ha.

The results obtained after one season of farmer training fields are encouraging and show that it is possible to obtain results close to those of conventional cotton.

A capitalization workshop with all stakeholders was held in Tambacounda in the cotton growing area in December 2023, and positive next steps are validated.

The number of farmer field schools will increase from six (06) to nine (09) in 2024.