OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector

Why we need more multistakeholder coalitions to support farmers in the cotton and rubber value chains?

Feb 20, 2024 | 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM


Organised by: Ksapa Smallholders account for 99% of world’s cotton production across 70 countries (BetterCotton), and 85% of global production of natural rubber (GPSNR). Yet cotton and natural rubber are critical raw materials for the garment industry. Cotton is a primary fabric. Natural rubber is essential for components like elastic bands in garments.  Fragmented smallholder agricultural commodity production presents several challenges.  Firstly, the small scale of individual farms often leads to inefficient production practices and limited access to modern technologies. Smallholders may lack resources for mechanization, irrigation, and quality inputs, affecting overall productivity and yield consistency.  Secondly, the fragmentation of land and operations makes it difficult to achieve economies of scale. This limits bargaining power in the market, making it challenging for smallholders to negotiate fair prices for their produce. Additionally, it hampers collective action, hindering the adoption of sustainable practices and certifications that are becoming increasingly important in global markets. Furthermore, inadequate infrastructure, including roads, storage facilities, and market linkages, can lead to post-harvest losses and difficulty in reaching distant markets. Smallholders often face financial constraints, limited access to credit, and lack of knowledge in financial management, making it challenging to invest in their farms and improve productivity. Lastly, climate change exacerbates these challenges, causing unpredictable weather patterns and extreme events that can devastate crops. Smallholders struggle to adapt to changing conditions due to limited resources and lack of technical expertise. Addressing these issues requires comprehensive policies that support smallholders through training, access to finance, improved infrastructure, and market linkages to enhance their resilience and productivity in the agricultural sector. This session will explore concrete solutions addressing the specific challenges of these agricultural commodities, including role of collaborations across value chain aligning activities, tapping into the power of digital and blended finance mechanisms to expand scale and impact of solutions. Watch session on replay

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