All parties benefit

  • The smallholder farmers and their families are directly involved in project development and are given support in areas that can significantly improve their quality of life.
  • The bodies that fund the programme help improve living conditions in these communities and can use impact measurements and pictures to report on how the projects meet their ecological and social commitments.
  • All those involved bring genuine added value to the cotton-growing regions of Africa through the programme.

Get involved

The CmiA Community Cooperation Programme is a success story that you can continue to write as a Demand Alliance partner. Do you want to become a funding partner? Feel free to contact us via e-mail:

Our CmiA Community Projects in figures

With the CmiA Community Cooperation Programme, the initiative is working together with local cotton companies and textile companies to improve living conditions beyond sustainable cotton cultivation in the areas of health, education, women’s empowerment, environment and nature conservation. The following projects were implemented by 2022:

85 + 5
Women Clubs and Women Projects
Health Stations
School gardens
Dormitories for girls
Buildings have been equipped with solar energy


2.1 billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water, while 4.4 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities. As a consequence, children under the age of five in particular suffer from illnesses that are often fatal. Every year, 361,000 children under the age of five die from diarrhoea.* In many of CmiA’s project regions in sub-Saharan Africa, poor hygiene conditions are common. Furthermore, the health care systems in most of these countries are not as developed as they should be, especially when dealing with the aforementioned conditions, resulting in the spread of illnesses that are frequently fatal. Two of the main reasons that many regions still have an alarmingly high rate of infant death are contaminated water and poor hygiene: the issues that are addressed by CmiA’s local projects.

So-called WASH projects (water, sanitation, and hygiene) involve the construction of sanitation facilities, the training of the local population in basic hygiene measures, and the installation of boreholes to supply villages with safe drinking water. These measures help prevent serious diseases and can be lifesaving in areas with very basic health care.

Alongside these WASH-projects, the construction and equipping of health centres also contributes to raising the general level of healthcare in project areas.

    • WASH (in cooperation with the cotton company Faso Coton) – 2018/2019
      Lack of water and extreme drought stalk Burkino Faso. Only 0.1 percent of the country is covered with water. People, most often women, have to walk very long distance to get to the nearest source of clean water. Often, they only get access to only rainwater or pools of water, which results in the spread of diseases. In cooperation with Faso Coton, water pumps were built in two villages. As a result, about 3,450 people gained access to clean drinking water. In addition, there are training sessions conducted in the villages covering the topics of drinking water, hygiene, and diseases.
    • Construction of water pumps (in cooperation with the cotton company Faso Coton) – 2020/21
      In Burkina Faso, the drinking water supply rate in rural areas is only at 65%. For this reason, water pumps were built in the villages of Wayalgui and Lado. These water pumps can save 79 families the four to ten kilometre walk to the nearest water source.
    • WASH (in cooperation with the cotton company COIC) – 2016/17
      Construction of four boreholes providing a better supply of clean drinking water and reducing the time and labour needed for carrying water—supplying a total of 5,160 inhabitants across four villages.
    • Health Centre (in cooperation with the cotton company SECO) – 2017
      The infirmary in the village of Ouangolodoudou was expanded and provided with equipment. In addition to the ginnery workers and their family members, the rest of the regional population (a total of around 5,000 people) are now able to benefit from the facility.
    • WASH (in cooperation with the cotton company COIC and retailer Bonprix) – 2018/2019
      The construction of five boreholes at five primary schools across four villages improved the supply of clean drinking water while reducing the time and effort needed to carry water. Seven primary schools received three latrines each, making a total of 21 latrines built across four villages to improve general hygiene in and around the schools. In order to secure the long-term success of the project, training sessions on hygienic behaviour are held for schoolchildren and the village community.
    • Construction of water pumps (in cooperation with the cotton company Ivoire Coton) – 2019
      The cotton company Ivoire Coton operates in many areas where no clean drinking water is available. During dry season, women have to walk long distances to rivers to fetch water. In addition to the time and physical effort required, the entire population suffers through poor water quality. In cooperation with Ivoire Coton, water pumps were therefore installed in the affected areas in 2019. Furthermore, awareness-raising workshops were held enabling farmers to maintain clean water supplies while construction of the pumps took place.
    • WASH (in cooperation with the cotton company Plexus, OTTO, CARE, the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)) – 2015/16
      In 20 villages located in the cotton-growing region of Cabo Delgado a total of 10 wells were repaired, 10 new wells were built, and sanitation facilities were constructed in 15 schools, benefitting around 5,000 pupils. Find out more here.
    • Health Centre (in cooperation with the cotton company Alliance) – 2016
      To reduce infant mortality and secure the supply of medicine and clean drinking water, the existing health service for the Kasoli community (about 16,000 inhabitants) was improved.
    • WASH (in cooperation with the cotton company Alliance) – 2017/2018
      The construction of five boreholes and five systems for rainwater collection ensure clean drinking water is available for domestic and agricultural use in the municipality of Kasoli.
    • WASH (in cooperation with the cotton company NWK) – 2016-2018
      Around 4,000 people in the region of Katete benefit from improved hygiene through the construction of four wells and 40 latrines.
    • WASH (in cooperation with the cotton company Alliance, Welthungerhilfe, and OTTO Austria) – 2015-2017
      Clean drinking water, toilets and about 10,000 hygiene ambassadors improve living conditions for the rural population in a total of 20 villages.
    • Construction of water pumps (in cooperation with the cotton company Ivoire Coton) – since July 2020
      In many of the villages in the north of Côte d’Ivoire there is no permanent source of drinking water available. During the dry season, the problem is much more serious. During this time, the women who supply the households with water are forced to fetch it from rivers far away from their villages. In addition to the physical effort involved in the search for water, health problems often arise from consuming water from contaminated sources. To permanently improve access to clean drinking water for the rural population in disadvantaged areas, water pumps will be installed in five more villages. 8,601 villagers will benefit from this intervention, which will have a direct impact on the health of the population and the workload of women.


Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have a high rate of illiteracy. Purely practical considerations are often responsible for the lack of education: in many cases, the closest school is simply too far away, buildings are dilapidated and no longer usable, there is a lack of qualified teaching staff and school materials, and parents often cannot afford school fees for their children.

Through our social projects, not only do we provide children with access to education, but adults too. This is unusual in many African countries, since adults do not normally get any further opportunities to learn to read, write and do basic maths. At the same time, illiteracy impairs socio-economic development in many countries across the continent. This elementary knowledge is vital for smallholder cotton farmers because it enables them to take full advantage of the agricultural training, and other support measures, offered through projects developed in cooperation with CmiA. Education is therefore a key factor for implementing sustainable cultivation methods and thereby improving the living conditions of smallholder cotton farmers and their families.

    • School building (in cooperation with the cotton company I.C.A. as well as the retailer Tchibo, the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)) – 2010-13
      The construction of seven schools and the installation of school canteens and school gardens as well as the provision of educational materials and equipment provides access to education to 760 children in Benin.
    • Adult literacy (in cooperation with the cotton company Faso Coton, Welthungerhilfe, ORGANIC, the retailer OTTO Austria and the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG))
      More than 5,300 smallholder farmers in the Bazéga region got access to elementary education in reading, writing and maths through this educational project. More than half of the farmers were women.
    • School building (in cooperation with the cotton company SOEDECOTON) – 2018
      There are very few elementary schools in cotton-growing regions in northern Cameroon. As a result, this region reports the lowest enrolment figures in the country. A school building was built with two classrooms and two latrines. Three teachers instruct around 150 children aged between five to eight years old at the elementary school.
    • Improvement of school infrastructure (in cooperation with the cotton company Arewa) – 2019
      The infrastructure, especially in rural Babanna, is very poor. Schools are in great need of renovation and access to water and sanitation is inadequate. In addition, teachers themselves only have a basic education. In 2019, wells and latrines were built, classrooms renovated, and investments made in continued education of teachers. A total of 1,800 students and 40 members of the Women’s Centre benefitted from these measures. For the women, sewing machines were purchased and training sessions (i.e. seweing of harvest bags) were organised.
    • Nutrition programme and women’s empowerment (in cooperation with the cotton company Arewa) – 2020
      In the Babanna community, cotton and other crops are the main crops grown, but access to a healthy and balanced diet is often poor, especially for women and children. To support the food security of the smallholder farmers and their children, trainings on good nutritional practices and applications were conducted. Together with the cotton company Arewa, a total of 500 women received training from nutritionists in 2020 on how to better plan family meals. In addition, agronomists showed them how to plant and maintain home gardens so that the women can produce vegetables and garden fruits. Starter kits consisting of red beans, rice and oil and other food items were distributed.
    • School building (in cooperation with the cotton company Alliance) – 2018
      Six different elementary and secondary schools were extended, with the provision of 12 classrooms, a dorm room for female students, and 30 gender-specific latrines. In addition, the project funds school tables and benches, benefiting more than 600 children.
    • Construction of Schools (in cooperation with the cotton company Alliance) – 2018
      The school infrastructure in the Bariadi district in the Simiyu region was inadequate. With Alliance, a total of four classrooms and latrines were built at two elementary schools. In addition, 80 desks and benches were purchased, as well as a full-sized dormitory was equipped with sanitary facilities, beds, mattresses, and a kitchen. The measures benefit about 800 pupils.
    • Construction of a School (in cooperation with the cotton company Alliance Tanzania) – 2020
      The only secondary school in the Ng`haya district of Magu in the Mwanza region was no longer able to cope with the pressure of continuously increasing pupil numbers as the enrolment rate had almost doubled from 2018 to 2020. Together with Alliance, a second secondary school with a total of four classrooms and five latrines was built. An administration building for the school was also set-up  and desks and benches were purchased for over 670 pupils.
      For the Dr. Otto Primary School, which was completed shortly before, a well was built to improve the supply of clean drinking water.
    • Training of female designers (in cooperation with production partner Finespinners) – 2018/2019
      Four local design graduates were taught by a designer who has experience in the European market. To make this possible, an in-house design studio was established and equipped with both hardware and design software.
    • School building (in cooperation with the cotton company Cargill and retailer Tchibo) – 2014
      The construction of eight new schools as well as various repairs to two existing school buildings gave 2,900 children a chance to receive an education. The project also funded the construction of school gardens, sanitation facilities and a total of 17 wells.
    • School building (in cooperation with the cotton company NWK, Otto Group and the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)) – 2015
      The construction of eight new schools as well as various repairs to two existing school buildings gave children in rural areas access to education.
    • Construction of a school canteen (in cooperation with the cotton company SODECO) – since January 2021
      In the commune of Kouandé in Benin, children often do not attend school i.e. less than 60% of school-age children are enrolled in  school. For many families, it is very difficult to finance the complete set of school materials required for the children’s school education. The canteen in the local school is also in poor condition. In order to increase  the educational opportunities for the children of the population of the rural community of Kouandé, 100 complete school kits including school uniforms will be purchased in 2021 by the cotton company SODECO and the façade of the school building will be renovated.
      In addition, a modern school kitchen and an adjoining school canteen with 250 seats will be built.
    • School construction (in cooperation with the cotton company Sodecoton) – since April 2021
      In many rural areas of Cameroon, the existing schools do not have enough classrooms for the number of pupils and there are only a few, inadequate latrines. Many villages have a poor drinking water supply. The lack of hygiene and the pollution of water, especially in the rainy season, leads to rapidly spreading diseases such as cholera.
      Together with Sodecoton, three school buildings, each with two classrooms and two latrines, will be built at three different locations, in the villages of Ngong, Garoua and Maroua. At least 450 pupils are expected to benefit from these measures. In addition, a well powered by solar energy and a water supply system for 2,000 villagers will be built.
    • School building (in cooperation with the cotton company SECO) – since October 2018
      The Tchologo region is the fourth poorest region in Côte d’Ivoire. The enrolment rate is only about 35 percent. Since October 2018, the cotton company SECO has built a school with six classrooms, including a canteen. The construction of the school will give 300 pupils access to education. Latrines are also being built in other schools.
    • School construction (in cooperation with the cotton company CIDT) – since December 2020
      In the village of Nawokaha (1,476 inhabitants), only 150 children are enrolled in school which corresponds to a rate of 22.45%. This very low school enrolment rate is attributable to the lack of school infrastructure. To provide all children of this village the with the opportunity to receive a basic school education, the construction of school was started in 2020. Noteworthy is, that the school building is being constructed from ecological and sustainable materials. In addition, the pupils are trained in agriculture in the school’s own vegetable garden alongside the normal curriculum.
    • School construction (in cooperation with the cotton company Continental Ginnery Ltd) – since August 2020
      The Lumezi community school does not have safe teaching and learning structures. The current building is made of straw and sticks with a grass roof. There are not enough desks and benches for the students. Together with Continental Ginnery Ltd, an equipped school building will therefore be constructed in Lumezi, including sanitary facilities and a water pump for the 310 pupils currently enrolled.


The improvement of living conditions in sub-Saharan Africa is directly linked to the advancement of women. Women do a very large proportion of the work in fields, and it is mainly women who run the household, take care of children, and look after the welfare of the whole family. To support women take steps towards economic and social independence, Cotton made in Africa and its partners cooperate within the framework of the CmiA Community Cooperation Programme to give financial start-up support to women cooperatives for income-producing activities, such as for livestock farming, to set up small village shops or for local food processing. Financial aid for starting new projects enables the women to set up their own enterprises and earn additional income. This investment benefits not only the women, but also their family members and village communities.

    • Improvement of living conditions of women and girls (in cooperation with the cotton company Sodecoton) – 2019/2020
      There are very few primary schools in existence in the cotton-growing regions of northern Cameroon, which means that these regions have the lowest school enrolment rates in the country. Girls in particular, are not sent to school. Furthermore, there is an insufficient number of treatment rooms in the health centre, which means that pregnant women are not able to receive treatment. In cooperation with Sodecoton, two classrooms and two treatment rooms in the health centre were built. Furthermore, four latrines were built in the immediate vicinity of the health centre.
    • Several measures for the advancement of women (in cooperation with the cotton company Ivoire Coton, C&A and the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)) – 2011/2012
      Start-up support for income-generating activities such as livestock farming, village shops or local food processing for 1,250 women and 12,500 family members.
    • Improvement of water supplies and cooking stoves (in cooperation with the cotton company CIDT) – 2019
      The village of Tondeni has fertile soil. However, the drinking water supply for the population is insufficient. In cooperation with CIDT, water pumps and energy-efficient cooking stoves were built in 2019. Approximately 250 people received access to clean drinking water, and the construction of the approx. 20 improved clay ovens reduced the time-consuming search for wood considerably.
    • Women projects: Maize Mill and Borehole (in cooperation with the cotton company WUCC) – 2017/2018
      Back in 2014, the Thuhambenko women’s group in Rwengaju initiated a maize milling project with 90 female farmers. The women consolidated their money earned from cotton harvesting to buy a piece of land of 2,500 m², to construct a temporary shed and to install a maize mill. The mill was provided by the government and began operation in September 2016. To secure the long-term success of the project, WUCC and CmiA have now funded a durable and weather-resistant building for better storage of machines and produce.
      In addition, a well was drilled to reduce the women’s everyday burdens, as they are often responsible for fetching water.
    • Women’s project for chicken breeding (in cooperation with the cotton company Alliance) – 2016/2017
      The Mukuyu women’s club in the Chisamba community was supplied with 500 chickens, with material to construct a stable, and with starting capital for feed and medicine. All club members also received training in all relevant aspects of chicken farming.
    • Women’s project for goat breeding (in cooperation with the cotton company CGL Parrogate) – 2016/2017
      The Shakunkama women’s club in the Nampundere community was supplied with: material to construct a livestock enclosure, 260 goats of which 60 are billies for breeding, starting capital for feed, funds for veterinary costs, and medicines/vaccinations. All club members were also trained in goat farming.
    • Women’s project for goat breeding (in cooperation with the cotton companies Alliance & Corman) – 2017/2018
      The Tuyandane women’s club in the Nampunwe community (which has around 800 inhabitants) was supplied with materials to construct a stable, as well as with 40 goats of which 5 males are billies for breeding, medicines and starting capital for feed. All club members were also trained in goat farming.
    • Various Measures for the advancement of women – 2018/2019
      In order to create new sources of income in rural regions, three so-called Women’s Clubs have been funded in close cooperation with the cotton company Grafax in 2018 to 2019. This included, for example, poultry farming allowing women to generate their own income.
      In cooperation with the cotton company Alliance, women also received support in 2018 to 2019 to jointly cultivate a cotton field.  Furthermore, Alliance supported the women to launch additional income-generating activities.
      In cooperation with the cotton company Continental Ginneries Limited, additional three Women’s Clubs were sponsored in 2018 (to establish a grocery store, to acquire an oil press and to develop a poultry farm).
      In 2018, some “dormant” Women’s Clubs were revived and received support for income-generating activities such as goat and pig breeding in cooperation with Highlands Cotton Trading.
    • Training for women (in cooperation with the cotton company COIC) – since July 2020
      Many women are forced to abandon their vegetable gardens during the dry season because they have great difficulties in irrigating the fields. This reduces crop yields, which leads to a loss of income. Two irrigation boreholes are therefore being built for the agricultural gardens, from which 120 women will benefit. In addition, a training on entrepreneurship is offered to the local Women’s Club with a total of 60 women. In this training, the women will gain knowledge on income-generating measures and simplified bookkeeping to strengthen their autonomy.
    • Promotion of Women’s Clubs (in cooperation with the cotton company Grafax) – since December 2020
      Together with the Grafax cotton company, CmiA is promoting four Women’s Clubs (Nguzu, Twikatane, Munyati and Chiteu Club). The Nguzu and Twikatane Women’s Clubs, with a total of 53 members, are supported by a goat farm. The demand for goats is very high in the area. Both clubs already own land in the villages, which is highly suitable for grazing and keeping goats.
      For the Munyati club, a maternity shelter is being added to the Munyati clinic. The clinic so far has only one room, which is not suitable for births and can only accommodate one person at a time. Since it is a small clinic without a maternity ward, most women are forced to either travel to a distant district hospital or give birth at home.
      The Chiteu Club would like to expand on its agricultural services to the community. The smallholder farmers usually work with hand hoes, which is not only tedious but also requires a lot of time for field preparation. As a result, planting of crops is often late, which leads to low crop yields. For this reason, since December 2020, smallholder farmers are being additionally supported by two purchased oxen and agricultural equipment.
    • Promotion of women’s clubs and other measures (in cooperation with the cotton company Highlands Cotton Trading) – since August 2020
      Together with Highlands Cotton Trading, CmiA supports five existing Women’s Clubs in the east of Zambia. Two Women’s Clubs are supported in poultry farming, two in pig farming and one in goat farming. They will receive funding for materials to build sheds, chicks, pigs and goats respectively, as well as start-up capital for animal feed and medicines. All women receive training on animal husbandry from a veterinarian. The aim of the project is to support the income-generating initiatives initiated, developed and managed by the women farmers.
      Also in eastern Zambia, the Makhota community school is being expanded and equipped with sanitary facilities and a water pump. In addition, three water pumps will be installed in the villages of Khoza, Chilenga and Lezawawa to provide the total of 2,400 inhabitants with year-round access to safe and clean drinking water.


Elefanten Afrika

Our image of Africa is that of a continent with unique scenery and exotic wildlife. The rich and varied flora and fauna are some of the continent’s most valuable resources—and yet they are highly endangered. Where agriculture meets natural environments that require protection, there is a particular need for projects that meet the demands of the various stakeholders and help preserve African natural resources for future generations. The CmiA Community Cooperation Programme is committed to meeting this challenge, and it is running environment and conservation projects in the regions where CmiA cotton is grown.

    • Solar Power (in cooperation with the cotton company ECPGEA) – 2016-2018
      In the North Gondar region, 75 percent of the Farmer Training Centres (FTCs) are not connected to the local electricity grid. In order to be able to conduct training in the evenings, ten FTCs were equipped with solar power systems that supply power for lighting and computer usage. Such access to electricity improves the training facilities, especially during the cultivation period (when work is undertaken on fields during the day, and training is conducted in the evenings).
    • Return system for pesticide containers:
      The professional disposal of pesticide containers is especially difficult in rural areas. Although the farmers are educated about the risks to their own health and the environment, an environmentally-sound method for disposing of empty containers is usually not available. In cooperation with the cotton company SAN JFS, 185 “Eco-Points” (collection points) have been set up since April 2019, where farmers can deliver empty containers. 220 women selected by their communities receive special training to supervise the stations. Both the farmers and the women receive a bonus payment for returned containers from the cotton company, SAN JFS. The company collects the containers from the collection points at regular intervals and sells them to recycling companies in the area. The proceeds will be reinvested to fund the continuation of the project. These measures benefit up to 20,000 farmers from surrounding communities.
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