Programme profile

CTDP: Cotton and Textiles Development Programme

Programme Index Listing

Main implementer
Gatsby Africa
Gatsby Africa (2007-Present); DFID (2011 - 2019)
2007 - present
Total budget
USD $50+ million
Annual budget
USD $6.5 million
Programme Director – Samweli Kilua
External links
Gatsby website: cotton sector
Gatsby website: textile sector

The CTDP represents an amalgamation of the previously separate Cotton Sector Development Programme and the Textile Development Unit.

Project description / objective

For Tanzania to become a leading producer of cotton, textiles and apparel for domestic, regional and global markets, generating decent jobs, incomes and increasing the sub-sector's contribution to GDP growth.

Market systems focus


Cotton in Tanzania is a sector that has huge potential for pro-poor impact.  Up to half a million smallholder farmers - concentrated in some of the poorest and least fertile regions of the country - grow the crop.  The sector has scope for significant growth: Tanzania’s average cotton yields of less than 500kg per hectare are barely a quarter of the world average and smallholders in West Africa achieve yields twice as high.  Furthermore, there is potential to raise the quality of Tanzanian cotton from its current low level, which sees it trading at a discount on world markets.


The textiles and apparel sector has repeatedly been an engine for development, kick-starting periods of rapid job creation and economic growth.  For countries like Tanzania, with relatively low wages and other benefits such as port access and availability of raw materials, the sector provides the opportunity to adopt technologies from elsewhere, bring in significant foreign exchange earnings and create thousands of jobs for semi-skilled workers. Recocgnising this, the Tanzanian government has highlighted the sector as crucial to achieving its aim of becoming a middle-income country.

Programme interventions


For cotton, the programme is focused on strengthening sector institutions, regulatory frameworks, farmer-processor relationships and supportive markets, enabling more than 400,000 farmers to improve agronomy, increase yields and boost incomes

Agro-dealer market development

  • Support pilots with commercially sustainable businesses delivering required core services for the VBA network (e.g. order aggregation, negotiation of bulk discounts, training, new VBA establishment), enabling transition out of any subsidy arrangements.  
  • Professionalisation of commercial agro-chemical supply and spray service provision (SSP) through technical and business planning training of professional spraying.

Simiyu Region Cotton Transformation Strategy
Support to develop the Transformation Strategy, and for one year of implementation includes:

  • capacity building of the strategy committee
  • technical and financial support to creating a digital platform through which various value chain actors interact for better services to the farmer
  • support to one ginner to develop farmer know-how systems with well-trained public and private extension services providers

Cotton seed system

  • Support immediate activities to protect progress to date on pipeline of new varieties & distribution of improved seed. Design and adoption of long-term sustainable seed system strategy


Interventions are focused on strengthening the value chain, building the right supporting institutions and improving the policy and business environment to transform the sector.

Productivity and value addition

  • Co-funding technical support to research organisations or industry players in line with factory diagnostics and promoting new mechanisms for funding sector skills


  • Identification of existing and potential serviced land opportunities, mapping sheds & warehouses, completing Special Economic Zone Roadmap.
  • Strategic assistance to Investment promotion agencies for design & delivery of targeted materials, promotion activities and agreed package.


This intervention is focused on building the right supporting institutions, strengthening policy formulation and implementation, broader sector governance, sector monitoring and effective public-private dialogue, to improve the business environment and transform the sector.

Policy and institutions 

  • Support Government to utilise findings of a review of the Cotton to Clothing (C2C) Strategy, to inform the new National Textiles Industry Development Strategy and renewed commitment to government coordination mechanisms.
  • Support PPD mechanism to identify critical policy changes based on sector monitoring findings and evidence.

Notable results (systemic change, poverty impact)


  • Village based agro-dealer network: 545 VBAs made combined sales of $13.8m in 2018/19, providing valuable inputs and advice to over 160,000 farmers in Tanzania’s Lake Zone.
  • Cotton seed: CTDP was instrumental in driving the roll out of UKM08 cotton seed, from funding the initial seed research, to managing production of basic seed and facilitating the oversight of multiplication.  It was planted on 865,780 acres in the 2017/18 season, and the total net benefits were TSh 57 billion ($25 million), distributed 55 per cent to farmers and 45 per cent to ginners.
  • CTDP’s support to trials of a competitive concession model governed by local government and the Tanzania Cotton Board doubled farmers’ yields in these areas. In this model, farmers benefited from ginner-financed inputs and extension services – their average production doubled to 509 kg/acre in 2017/18. 


  • CTDP supported the establishment and registration of the Textile and Garment Manufacturers Association of Tanzania (TEGAMAT). 
  • CTDP played a critical role in Tanzania success in retaining AGOA following the out-of-cycle review by the USTR. This is widely recognised by many of the Government stakeholders. The impact of this is substantial, not only protecting existing jobs and exports in Tooku and Mazava (5400 jobs and exports over $22m per year), but enabling their expansion and the diversification of other existing firms (e.g. A to Z) who are now exporting to the US.
  • CTDP organised and co-financed a training programme for Tanzanian supervisors at Mazava Fabrics. This resulted in improvements in technical and leadership skills as well as increased productivity of the factory overall. Preliminary analysis showed the training resulted in a 25 per cent reduction in repairs (increasing quality, efficiency and profitability) and a 4 to 7% increase in efficiency.

[uploaded April 2020]