Multi-stakeholder coalition advances towards long-term sustainable development plan for Chad’s cotton growing region

IDH and Cotontchad Société Nouvelle (CTSN) convened the partners of the ‘Chad Climate Resilient Landscape’ program to advance the finalization of the Compact for Southern Chad—a collaborative endeavor that has been under development over the past year. Representatives from 23 organizations engaged in active discussions on the Compact’s details and charted the course for the way forward.

The Compact or regional development plan is an important milestone in the set-up phase of this landscape program which works towards inclusive and multi-sectoral sustainable land use management.

IDH and CTSN kick-started the process in mid-2022, when they started talking to different stakeholders from the public sector, private sector, civil society, research institutions, and farmer representatives, about collaborating on a common vision towards creating climate-resilient farming systems in Chad’s cotton-growing region. This resulted in 13 different organisations signing a Letter of Intent in October 2022, thereby agreeing on common socio-economic and environmental objectives, and committing to further collaboration.

These objectives form the basis of the Compact which will guide concrete activities and targets of the program. In a recent development, IDH nominated Job Booster Chad Enterprise to act as the Executive Secretariat of the program. Job Booster is a local organisation, with strong expertise in rural entrepreneurship and job creation, and therefore well-placed to manage stakeholder engagements and develop strategic collaborations and projects that will support the delivery of the Compact in the years to come.

At the workshop, the partners agreed on the next steps towards the delivery of the ambitions of the landscape program which include signing the Compact MOU before the end of the year and putting in place inclusive and locally embedded governance structures.

The landscape program is supported by the Ministry of Production and Agricultural Transformation, the Ministry of Environment, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (ITRAD), the National Rural Development Support Agency (ANADER), as well as several private sector companies, Better Cotton, and civil society organisations. Farmers are represented through the National Union of Cotton Producers of Chad (UNPCT).

Mr. Pramit Chanda, Global Director – Textiles & Manufacturing at IDH said, “I am excited to see the Chad landscape program taking shape, with our partners aligning on the proposed activities and targets, which will enable us to finalize our Compact MOU. Our collective goal is to enhance the climate resilience of farming communities in southern Chad. Crucial to our success will be to enhance farmer incomes through the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices, restoring and protecting the natural resource base, and strengthening access to markets, including in other value chains.”

Speaking about the workshop, Mr. Olivier Renson, Chief Executive Officer of Cotontchad commented, “We are committed to the objectives of the landscape program to ensure the long-term sustainability of the cotton sector, but also to achieve positive impacts for the cotton farmers and their families. Cotontchad will collaborate closely with government and non-government partners to achieve our ambitions.”

Hyacinthe Ndolenodji, Director of Job Booster Chad Enterprise expressed, “We are delighted to be chosen as the Executive Secretariat for the Landscape, guiding the work forward. As one of the partners in the program, we recognize the potential of this initiative to contribute to the sustainable development of Chad and the generation of employment opportunities for the population.”