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The West African Cotton Improvement Program (WACIP) is a USAID-funded project through the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) based in Bamako, Mali. The project runs from October 2007 to February 2012. The overall objective of the WACIP project is to increase incomes of cotton-farming households. The project assists Benin, Burkina, Chad and Mali to increase cotton yields and improve sales and income for the cotton sector.
As part of the IFDC consortium implementing the WACIP project, ATA's activities concentrate on adding value in cotton processing and transformation-which draw on ATA's core competencies in product development, enterprise-level capacity-building, and facilitating market linkages for artisan textile businesses.

Building on the successes and lessons learned from ATA's programs in Africa and with textile-producing communities around the world, ATA intends to expand income-generating opportunities for cotton-producing communities by enhancing strategic market access, improving product offerings, and building business management capacity. ATA targeted artisans whose activities could be harnessed to add value to domestically produced or processed cotton and/ or who reside within cotton-producing regions - thereby contributing to rural economies. Artisans in the C-4 countries continue to innovate with, unique treatments and embellishments, from indigo and bogolan dyeing techniques in Mali, to applique in Benin depicting the conquests of the ancient kingdom of Abomey, and woven cotton wrappers in Burkina Faso

Here is a list of ATA’s key achievements in this project as of May 31, 2011:

2 regional training workshops in Mali and Benin were sponsored in French on production efficiency, quality control and design, benefiting 34 artisan enterprises from Benin, Mali, Chad and Burkina Faso.
1275 artisans living in these four countries are benefiting from this project among which about 82% are women.
5 international design consultancies were arranged, which helped the artisans take part in major international and regional trade shows such as the New York International Gift Fair in 2008,2009, 2010, and 2011 and the Salon International Artisanal de Ouagadougou (SIAO) on October 2008 and 2010. Through these consultancies, more than 300 new cotton products were developed.
2 local designs coordinators provided technical support to 13 artisans enterprises in Mali and Burkina Faso in developing new product designs and new samples.
20 artisan enterprises (6from Mali, 6 from Burkina, 4 from Benin, and 4 from Chad generated over the life of program more that $1,000,000 in local, regional, and international sales.

ATA would like to thank the following organizations for providing funding for efforts in the West African region:
International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC)
United States Agency of International Development (USAID)


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