Organic

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INTERNATIONAL COTTON ADVISORY COMMITTEE
1629 K Street NW, Suite 702, Washington, DC 20006 USA
Telephone: (202) 463-6660 • Fax: (202) 463-6950 • Email: secretariat@icac.org • Internet: http://www.icac.org

Organic Cotton Production - III

THE ICAC RECORDER, June 1996

JUNE 1996

11

Organic Cotton Production - III
In previous articles published in THE ICAC RECORDER or presented at various international meetings, we have tried to gather statistics on organic cotton area, production and yield, and collect information on certifying organizations. Moreover, we have tried to identify various important issues to be considered by researchers and organic cotton producers. Organic cotton production is not simply an elimination of fertilizers and insecticides but it is a complete production system which requires equally sound knowledge of cotton production practices. With respect to insect control in particular, a thorough knowledge of non-chemical means of insect control is a pre-requisite for organic production. Unfortunately, complete information on many aspects of organic production is not available at one place and even in some cases the concerned authorities are not willing to share information. This article is another effort by the Technical Information Section of ICAC to provide additional information on organic cotton, admitting that it is not complete and that much more could be added. IMO Institute for Marketecology Textile Department Paradiesstrasse 13 D-78462 Konstanz Germany Phone: 49-7531-915275 Fax: 49-7531-915276

Australia
Australia has high insect pressure and cotton production is all mechanized. Although average yields are the highest in the world, lack of subsidies from the government often renders cotton production an expensive business. Australian farmers cannot afford to reduce yields by any significant margin, which is unavoidable under organic production conditions. Organic cotton production in the last two years has been as follows: Organic Cotton Production in Australia Item Area in hectares Production in MT Average yield in kg/ha 1994/95 1000 750 750 1995/96 500 400 800

Organic Cotton Programs in Various Countries
It is estimated that little over 8,000 hectares of organic cotton are grown in various countries, the USA being the largest producer in the world. Organic cotton is also said to be produced in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, India, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Sénégal, Tanzania, Turkey and Uganda. Attempts have also been made to grow it in Benin. However, organic cotton is produced on a commercial scale only in the USA. In most countries, it is produced in small, supervised projects, most of which get financial, technical or supervisory support from international organizations and companies. Nicaragua has provided some technical help to Ecuador for launching organic cotton production projects since the 1995 crop season. The German Agency for Development Cooperation (GTZ) and BoWeevil of Holland are involved in many projects in different countries. A number of national and international meetings have been held to exchange information on organic cotton production, processing and utilization. The International Federation for Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM), based in Germany, organized the First International Conference on Organic Cotton in Cairo, Egypt, from September 23-25, 1993, which was centered around issues related to production practices for organic cotton. Now, the IFOAM is planning to have the Second International Conference on Organic Textiles in Bingen, Germany, from September 23-26, 1996. On this occasion, organizers plan to publish an International Organic Textile Directory which will include a list of eco-textile companies and a brief description of agricultural projects including history, organizations involved, fiber quality, etc. More information on the conference can be obtained from the following address:

Organic cotton is certified...
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