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WTO Corner

WTO Cotton Web Page

Cotton is discussed at the WTO on two tracks:

  1. the trade reforms needed to address subsidies and high trade barriers for cotton, and
  2. the assistance provided to the cotton sector in developing countries.

The trade aspects of cotton are handled by the Committee on Agriculture in Special Session including through dedicated discussionson trade in cotton. The development assistance aspects of cotton are discussed in the meetings of the “Director-General’sConsultative Framework Mechanism on Cotton”.

These various tracks of discussion have been developed over the years as a response to a series of proposals to address thesector tabled by four African countries — Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali — known as the Cotton Four or C4.

Click here to access the WTO cotton webpage to learn about background information on the scope and mandate of the WTO workon cotton and access official WTO documents on cotton-related work.

Alternate Text

WTO Secretariat Background Paper

The Secretariat background paper includes factual information and data available from Members’ notifications and other official submissions to the WTO on market access (including non-tariff measures affecting cotton trade), domestic support and export competition in relation to cotton. The document is used to inform discussions on WTO Members’ cotton trade policies that took place biannually at the WTO.

Click here to access the paper and its amendment.

WTO-monitored Cotton Development Assistance

Discussions on the development assistance aspects of cotton take place twice a year in a forum known as the “Director General’s Consultative Framework Mechanism on Cotton”. The main purpose of these discussions is to track developments and exchange information on development assistance provided to developing countries. This is recorded through the so-called “Evolving Table on Cotton”. Click here to access the paper.

Development Community Programmes/Projects/Activities Value Operational Status Disbursement Status Beneficiaries
Australia Business Partnerships Platform: ethical cotton production in Kenya USD 238,193 IP 2016-18   Kenya
Australia Business Partnerships Platform: improving access to global cotton markets for farmers in Pakistan USD 380,500 IP 2016-18   Pakistan
European Commission Support to cotton recovery plan (Flex 2008) EUR 8,655,487 IP 2010-17 EUR 5 549 311 Côte d'Ivoire
European Commission Intercoton – Speed up in the law application regarding the rural property sector in the cotton pool EUR 925,500 IP 2016-18 EUR 857 250 Côte d'Ivoire
European Commission Consolidation of the Action Framework for the EU-Africa Partnership on Cotton EUR 11,000,000 IP 2012-18 EUR 10 189 070 All African producers
France Support to integrated management of agricultural resources (ASGIRAP) – C2D with a specific component for the enhancement of productivity in the cotton sector EUR 10,000,000 IP 2013-17 EUR 2,937,822 Cameroon
France C2D support to the cotton sector (road maintenance, animal traction agriculture, advice to producers, strengthening the cooperatives and supporting the interprofession) EUR 16,930,000 IP 2013-17 EUR 16,930,000 Côte d'Ivoire
France Study to relaunch the cotton sector EUR 190,000 IP   Guinea
France Improvement of productivity and sustainability of farms in cotton areas. Reinforcement of governance of cotton sector within the framework of the institutional reform: strengthening the capacities of the cooperatives and their unions; supporting the interprofessional dialogue; and supporting the development of a concerted policy in cotton areas EUR 11,000,000 IP 2008-17 EUR 8,603,136 Mali
France Study to facilitate the implementation of price fixing EUR 11,700 IP   Zambia
France Fair trade and organic cotton in West Africa EUR 3,000,000 PFS EUR 3,000,000 West African countries
Germany Sustainable Agricultural Value Chains and Standards/ Cotton House Africa< EUR 9,500,000 IP 2017-2021 EUR 1,000,000 Western; Central and Eastern African Countries
Germany Promotion of Innovations in Cotton Production and Cotton Value Chains EUR 14,000,000 PFS 2018-2022 EUR 10,000 African and Asian Countries
Germany Global Cotton Project EUR 17,000,000 PFS 2019-2022 - Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Indian, Uzbekistan
(Conducted by FiBL) Research project on approaches for a smart mix EUR 4,000,000 IP
EUR 4,000,000 Northern African, Asian countries
Netherlands Initiative Sustainable Trade (IDH): Cotton Value Chain Development EUR 16,500,000 PFS 2016-20   Brazil, China, India, Mali, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey
Sweden Conservation Cotton TechnoServe Programme: Support to farmers in Northern Uganda to become efficient producers of cotton and staple food crops (in cooperation with jeans manufacturer Edun) EUR 256,213 IP 2014-15   Uganda
Switzerland Initiative Sustainable Trade (IDH): Cotton Value Chain Development USD 780,000   IP 2016-20 - Africa, Central Asia, China
Switzerland Value Chain Development of Organic and Fairtrade Cotton USD 6,900,000 IP 2013-17 USD 4,600,000 Burkina Faso, Mali, Kyrgyz Republic
Switzerland Better Cotton Initiative (BCI): The Delta Project “Bridging the Gap in Measuring Real-Time Sustainability Performance” USD 1,103,835 IP 2018-21 - Global
US C4 Cotton Partnership Programme (C4CP) USD 14,800,000 IP 2014-18 USD 5,910,000 C4
US West Africa Technical Assistance Scholarship Program for Cotton USD 150,000 IP 2014-19 USD 15,483 C4 and Senegal
Brazil Market outlets for cotton by-products and cotton companion crops in Africa USD 7,345,862 IP 2017-21 USD 489,341 Cotton-producing countries in Africa
Brazil Programme for the development of the cotton sector in Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Togo, Mozambique, Malawi, Kenia, Tanzania) USD 23,840,863 IP 2012-2022 USD 12,728,786 Cotton-producing countries in Africa (15 countries)
Brazil (with FAO) Strengthening of the cotton sector through South-South Co-operation USD 14,400,000 IP 2012-18 USD 7,876,078 Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru,Haiti
Brazil South-South cooperation for the promotion of decent work in cotton-producing countries in Africa and Latin America USD 6.864.706 IP 2015-19 USD 2,285,014 Mali, Mozambique, Paraguay, Peru, Tanzania
India Cotton Technical Assistance Programme USD 2,848,809 IP 2011-2018 FD Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda
FAO Competitiveness and sustainable strengthening of the cotton sector through the reinforcement of cotton farmers' capacities in the Integrated Production and Pest Management* USD 3,315,650 IP 2012-16 USD 3,000,000 Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia
ITC Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa USD 2,000,000 IP 2015-20   Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda
UNCTAD Project on cotton by-products in Eastern and Southern Africa. COMESA Regional Cotton to Clothing Strategy USD 591,000 IP 2016-19 USD 336,628 Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Agriculture Information Management System (AG-IMS)

Ag-IMS provides access to documents and records relevant under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.

The system allows users to search and analyse (i) agriculture-related information notified by the Members and (ii) questions raised and responses provided in the context of the Review Process carried out by the Committee on Agriculture.

Click here to search agriculture notifications to the WTO.

Click here to search and analyze notified agriculture information at the WTO.

Click here to search and analyze relevant discussions held at the WTO Committee on Agriculture.