A young Mexican girl drinking water from an empty pesticide container. This picture strongly demonstrates the lack of education about the dangers of pesticides in rural areas of the developing world.
It takes one pound of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to conventionally grow the three pounds of cotton needed to make a T-shirt and a pair of jeans.
Excerpted from "Cotton, Pesticides and Suicides," by Jitedra Verma, posted in the Earth Island On-line Journal. Verma is a reporter for Down to Earth magazine (Centre for science and environment
"Since the beginning of the new year, not a single day has passed without one cotton farmer committing suicide," says a farmer in Warangal, where almost the entire standing cotton crop has been devastated, placing communities on the brink of starvation. Faced with a raging attack on the cotton crop by Spodoptera litura (tobacco cutworm) and Heliothis armigera (American bollworm), frantic Andhra Pradesh farmers were sitting ducks for pesticide suppliers offering to sell pesticides on credit. But the indiscriminate application of pesticides only led to increased resistance in pests. While pests continued to ravage crops, expenses mounted and the noose tightened.
COTTON CULTIVATED WITHOUT USING FERTILIZERS PESTICIDES AND OTHER CHEMICALS (ORGANIC FARMING)
RESIDUE OF THESE CHEMICALS REMOVED DURING FIRST TWO SEASONS OF CULTIVATION
COTTON FROM THIRD SEASON ONWARDS IS ECO FRIENDLY
INDENTIFIED BY LOGOS
ECO FRIENDLY COTTON
Organic cotton certification INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FOR ORGANIC AGRICULTURE MOVEMENT [IFOAM] has formulated standards and guidelines for organic cotton cultivation and are followed by many labelling agencies to certify organic cotton and other farm produce.
INDIAN COTTON India is the third largest producer of cotton Percentage of agriculture land under cotton production in India: 5 per cent (8.9 million hectares) Percentage of total pesticide used for cotton cultivation: 54 per cent cotton makes for 70 per cent of the textile sector's raw material Organic cotton in India Organic cotton production in india is only miniscule percentage of the total cotton production.
Organic cotton in India Five to seven decades ago, most of the cotton cultivated in the country was ‘eco-friendly’ with little or no use of toxic chemicals in its production. Even today, there are many pockets in India, where it is produced without the use of agrochemicals, e.g., areas growing Wagad cotton in Gujarat, Y-1 desi cotton of Khandesh region of Maharashtra, Maljari in Madhya Pradesh, part of areas growing Jayadhar and Suyodhar in Karnataka Nandicum in Andhra Pradesh and parts of cotton areas in north eastern hill region.
Vidarbha organic farmers Association(VOFA 1993 Visit of Envirnmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) Hamburg Germany to Central Cotton Research Institute, (CICR) Nagpur To confirm organic cotton farming in Vidarbha EPEA confirmed organic cotton in Vidarbha EPEA confirmed organic cotton in Vidarbha
1994 Organization of 135 farmers from five districts Nagpur, Wardha, Yavatmal, Amravati and Akola
1995 commitment of 12,00 hectares land for organic cotton cultivation
1995 Formation of Vidarbha Organic Farmers Association 1996 Bumper crop of organic cotton
Present status of VOFA 350 Members 90 Practicing organic farmers 3500 Acres area under organic cotton farming Purchaser: Fare Trade Company Japan
Volauntary organizations in organic cotton production VOFA (VIDARBHA ORGANIC FARMERS ASSOCIATION), MOFA (MAHARASHTRA ORGANIC FARMERS ASSOCIATION), SHRIDA-BIORE etc. have been formed either by farmers groups interested in organic cotton cultivation or to assist such groups by offering technical assistance. yield level of 500-750 kg/ha. The technological properties of various cultivators grown under the organic cultivation such as micronaire (3.8-5.0), span length (25.5-29.9 mm) and fibre maturity parameters similar to fibres produced by conventional methods
Maikaal bioRe Ltd. Madhya Pradesh Maikaal bioRe Ltd, which claims to be the largest organic cotton venture in the world, in Bheelaon, Madhya Pradesh has over 1,000 farmers involved in organic cotton production The production of organic cotton started in 1991 as a private initiative of Mrigendra Jalan, Managing Director of the spinning mill, Maikaal Fibres Ltd, and
Patrick Hohmann, Managing Director of the Swiss cotton yarn trading company, Remei AG
Organic cotton production in India 14-15 lakh bales of uncertified organc cotton (Cotton corporation of India) Estimated certified organic cotton 1000 Total world production 8150 15% of total world production 37% Asian countries production
NATURALLY COLOURED COTTON COTTON THAT GROWS WITH NATURAL COLOURS DURING CULTIVATION BOTH WHITE AND COLOURED COTTONS KNOWN SINCE TIME IMEMORIAL IN INDIA
NON POPULARITY OF COLOURED COTTON LOW YIELD SEED AVAILABILITY LOW FINENESS, LOW STAPLE LENGTH LOW STRENGTH POOR SPINNABILITY LOW YARN AND FABRIC QUALITY LIMITED COLOUR RANGE CONTAMINATION OF WHITE COTTON
ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION WAVE IMPETUS TO THE CULTIVATION OF NATURALLY COLOURED COTTON SHADES PISTA GREEN AND ALMOND BROWN MOST COMMON OTHER SHADES CREAM PINK MAUVE COUNTRIES INDIA USA ISRAEL CHINA PERU
COTTON CORPORATION OF INDIA AND CENTRAL COTTON RESEARCH INSTITUTE NAGPUR 1996-97 INVESTMENT Rs. 80 LAKHS CULTIVATION OF COLOURED COTTON AT KHANDWA, MADHYA PRADESH DHARWAD, KARNATAKA PROJECT DID NOT SUCEED DUE TO POOR MARKET RESPONSE DEMAND OF HIGH PRICE BY FARMERS MAJOR PROBLEM CONTAMINATION OF WHITE COTTO FIELDS NECESSARY TO HAVE SEPARATE AREA FOR COLOUR COTTON CULTIVATION
MEANS TO OVERCOME TECHNICAL PROBLEMS LOW STRENGTH AND POOR SPINNABILITY BLENDING 30-50% OF WHITE COTTON WITH COLOURED COTTON CHANGE OF SHADE ON LAUNDERING ON LAUNDERING SHADE BECOMES DEEPER ALKALINE SCOURING STABILIZES THE SHADE CHANGE POOR BLEACHING FASTNESS DO NOT BLEACH
COMMENCED IN 1984 TO DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY TO SUPPORT INDIGENOUS FARMERS AND TRADITIONAL ARTISANS
15000 FARDMERS CULTIVATE COLOURED COTTON
50000 WOMEN INVOLVED IN TRADITIONAL HAND SPINNING AND HAND WEAVING
COLOURED COTTON IS PRODUCED WITHOUT THE USE OF SYNTHETIC FERTILIZERS AND PESTICIDES
COTTON PLANT GROWS UP TO 5 METERS HIGH
YIELD 10 KG PER PLANT
REMARKABLY RESISTANT TO PEST AND DISEASES
THRIVES IN MARGINAL SOILS WITH LITTLE OR NO RAIN FALL
SIX PRINCIPLE COLOUR VARIETIES CREAM Pista green MEDIUM BROWN REDDISH BROWN CHOCOLATE BROWN MAUVE Brown verities possess anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties COFFEE FILTERS MADE FROM CERTIFIED ORGANIC COLOURED COTTON FREE FROM PESTIFCIDES, BLEACHES AND SYNTHETIC COLOURS Natural coloured yarns and fabrics are certified by SKAL, Dutch certifying agency
Sally Fox in 1982 took on the challenge of improving an ancient agricultural art. Fox successfully bred and marketed varieties of naturally coloured cotton she calls FoxFiber ®. Today, Sally Fox designs fabrics with her cotton and continues research. Fox has received a patent and three Plant Variety Protection Certificates for her naturally colored cottons which, in addition to browns, she now grows in reds and greens. Her invention has been so popular it has sprouted two successful companies -- Vreseis, Ltd. and Natural Cotton Colours, both operating in Arizona.
Natural qualities found in Fox Fibre: brown, red brown, dark brown, and green color spectrums Provide a fire retardant tendency Eliminate the need for bleaches, dyes, & other costly processes during textile and product manufacturing