The Australian government, along with Cotton Australia and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), has forged a partnership to support training of around 225,000 Pakistani cotton farmers commencing with the 2017 cotton-sowing season. The partnership has been established to support Pakistan’s ability to compete in premium international cotton markets.
The Australian High Commission’s a statement said this partnership will deliver practical tools and latest environmental and cutting-edge management practices aligned with internationally recognised quality assurance for sustainable cotton production. Farmers will be trained in techniques for growing cotton with focus on improved environmental, social and economic benefits in line with the Better Cotton Standard System. Cotton is an important export earner for Pakistan that is supposed to be the fourth largest producer of cotton in the world.
The Australian government has committed AU$500,000 to this project, which will be supported through the Australian aid programme’s Business Partnerships Platform. Australia’s contribution will be matched by AU$2.4m from the BCI Growth and Innovation Fund. The matching funds come from the BCI Retailer and Brand members, such as Adidas, IKEA, H&M, Levi Strauss & Co, Marks & Spencer, Cotton On, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Tommy Hilfiger and Nike.