Organic Cotton Farming
Helping farmers move from the soil-damaging and polluting GM cotton to ecologically sustainable organic cotton.
What is Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton is defined as cotton that is grown organically in subtropical countries such as India, Turkey, China, and parts of the USA from non-genetically-modified (Non-GMO) plants. Use of synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides is avoided and only the ones allowed by the certified organic labeling are used as required.
What is Organic Cotton farming?
Organic cotton farming is a type of farming that sustains the health of:
It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions rather than the use of artificial substances that cause unfavorable effects to the environment. Organic farming combines tradition, innovation and science and can promote fair prices and a good quality of life for everyone involved.
Advantages of Organic Cotton Farming
Organic agriculture relies on natural methods for disease and pest prevention, such as sustainable crop rotations, biological pest and disease control, and preserving nutrient-rich soils and pest-resilient crops. For this reason, approximately 2.8 kilograms of hazardous pesticides and 363 kilograms of chemical fertilizers are avoided for each kilogram of organic cotton produced.
Nature-based agricultural practices build organic matter in the soil, so they have a higher water-holding capacity and less water is used overall for organic cotton farming.
Organic cotton farming also contributes towards improved water quality because of the avoidance of chemicals causing water pollution.
Organic cotton farming practices go hand-in-hand with much lower emissions than are produced when growing conventional cotton. As organic farming does not rely on fossil-fuel based fertilizers and herbicides, growing organic cotton does not contribute to significant emissions associated with the production and use of such inputs.
In addition, the natural farming methods used in organic agriculture are highly effective in forming humus in soils, increasing the soil organic carbon (SOM). As a result, this is estimated to reduce the global warming potential of organic cotton by up to 46% compared to non-organic cotton.
Organic farming eliminates the use of synthetic products to maximize the yields that can be produced.
Production costs can be reduced as expensive fertilizers do not need to be purchased.
Organic farming creates a healthier soil instead of polluting it with chemicals to get a quicker and higher yield. Only natural soil enhancement techniques are acceptable.
People who are constantly exposed to chemical pesticides have a higher risk of developing neurological diseases and higher levels of lifetime exposure increases this risk. Many farmers who use synthetic products suffer from countless symptoms over time. Headaches become quite common, including migraine headaches. Fatigue is another common symptom. Increased exposure may also lead to memory loss in some individuals.
Organic cotton crops retain water more efficiently due to organic matter in the soil which helps in the conservation of water. This is extremely important for a nation like India where there is a severe scarcity of water.
The Future of Organic Cotton Farming
India accounts for 56 percent of the world’s organic cotton but ironically, only one percent of India’s cotton is organic. With agriculture and farming going the sustainable way, farmers are now trying to adopt indigenous methods to make organic farming feasible and profitable.
Organic farming in India can be a huge success if certain problems are addressed in the market. For example, there is a large lack of availability of seeds in markets. Since the early 2000s, the cotton seed market in India has been dominated by BT cotton seeds. The BT cotton seeds have a high cost compared to non-BT cotton seeds and the seeds need a high production cost for their growth. Also, bigger accessibility to organic fertilizers and bio-pesticides is yet another key need for organic cultivation to thrive which can put a lid on inorganic and synthetic farming practices.
Worldwide, organic cotton yield figures are highly variable. Organic cotton fiber yields reach up to 1,687 kg per hectare in Turkey, but just 508 kg per hectare in India, the world’s largest producer of organic cotton. In the future, reaching the higher end of this yield spectrum is possible if the right conditions are in place. This can be achieved by increasing transparency in the supply chain and securing access to quality, high-yielding organic seed varieties. Scaling these interventions can ensure that environmental, economic, and social benefits of organic cotton are fully maximized.
Redirecting investment and efforts in the organic cotton growing sector in such a directed manner will help overcome concerns that organic cotton is a high cost and scarce crop. At present, organic cotton makes up less than 0.47% of the global cotton market (based on the latest available figures from 2014-15) The negative environmental and social impacts of conventionally grown cotton are not included in the final retail price.
Supporting organic cotton also means supporting a system that is dedicated to enhancing environmental protection, promoting a long-term and resilient cotton sector, and enhancing farmer livelihoods. We cannot force people to take up this profession to cater to market needs but improving the lives of existing cotton farmers may provide bigger incentives for the future generation of cotton farmers to adapt this approach.
The benefits of developing the organic cotton sector for people and the planet are too great to miss, and the solutions to unlocking these benefits lie well within our reach.
Organic cotton Fabric Manufacture
Contact person: Balasubramani
Mail Id :firstname.lastname@example.org
Organic cotton Fabric Manufacture and Indigenous Seed Supplier
Contact Person: Arup