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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


Business Partnerships Platform: ethical cotton production in Kenya

USD 238,193

IP 2016-18

USD 238,193



Business Partnerships Platform: improving access to global cotton markets for farmers in Pakistan PHASE I

USD 380,500

IP 2016-18

USD 380,500



Business Partnerships Platform: improving access to global cotton markets for farmers in Pakistan PHASE II

USD 365,000

IP 2018-2020




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



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


Study to relaunch the cotton sector

EUR 190,000





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



Study to facilitate the implementation of price fixing

EUR 11,700





Fair trade and organic cotton in West Africa

EUR 3,000,000


EUR 3,000,000

West African countries


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


Global Project "Sustainability and value added in the cotton economy"

EUR 17,000,000

IP 2019-2023


Burkina Faso, Cameroon, India, Uzbekistan

(Conducted by FiBL)

Research project on approaches for a smart mix

EUR 4,000,000

IP 2017-2019

EUR 4,000,000

Northern African, Asian countries


Initiative Sustainable Trade (IDH): Cotton Value Chain Development

EUR 16,500,000

IP 2016-20

EUR 8,792,538

China, India, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Senegal, Tajikistan, Turkey


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




Initiative Sustainable Trade (IDH): Cotton Value Chain Development

USD 780,000

IP 2016-20


Africa, Central Asia, China


Value Chain Development of Organic and Fairtrade Cotton

USD 6,900,000

IP 2013-17

USD 4,600,000

Burkina Faso, Mali, Kyrgyz Republic


Better Cotton Initiative (BCI): The Delta Project "Bridging the Gap in Measuring Real-Time Sustainability Performance"

USD 1,103,835

IP 2018-21




West Africa Technical Assistance Scholarship Program for Cotton

USD 150,000

IP 2014-19

USD 67,445

C4 and Senegal


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


Programme for the development of the cotton sector in Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Togo, Mozambique, Malawi, Kenia, Tanzania)

USD 26,385,389

IP 2012-2022

USD 14,980,779

Cotton-producing countries in Africa (15 countries)


Strengthening of the cotton sector through South-South Co-operation

USD 14,400,000

IP 2012-19

USD 9,002,334

Argentina; Bolivia, Plurinational State of; Colombia; Ecuador; Paraguay; Peru; Haiti


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 2,529,990

Mali, Mozambique, Paraguay, Peru, Tanzania


Support to small-scale cotton producers and public institutions in selected African countries in the production and commercialization of cotton by-products (such as oil and cottonseed meal) and products from other crops combined to cotton production (such as corn, sorghum and bean) - "Beyond Cotton" project

USD 7,345,862

IP 2017-21

USD 489,341

Benin, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania


Cotton Technical Assistance Programme

USD 2,848,809

IP 2011-2018


Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda


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


Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa

USD 2,000,000

IP 2015-20


Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda


Project on cotton by-products in Eastern and Southern Africa. COMESA Regional Cotton to Clothing Strategy

USD 591,000

IP 2016-19

USD 451,000

Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe


The Egyptian Cotton Project (donor: Italian Agency for Development Cooperation)

USD 1,500,000

IP 2017-19



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.