Exploring Possibilities of Organic Seed Cotton Production in Pakistan
In 2015, WWF-Pakistan introduced organic cotton in Lasbella district, Balochistan with 500 cotton growers.
Organic cotton is cotton that is grown without using any chemical fertilizers or pesticides on it. It is grown on land that has been treated and given sufficient time (at least three years) for the removal of all the toxic residues of chemical fertilizers and pesticides used earlier on it. This cotton is grown from seeds that is not genetically modified and that have not been treated with any chemicals (washes, bleaches, colors, or scents) during its processing and packaging. For this purpose, audit and inspection of cotton crop is carried out by the certified verifying body. For the first two years if the standards are met the cotton is called “in conversion cotton” and on the third year, if standard are met the cotton is certified as “organic cotton”.
Audit and inspection for organic cotton in Lasbella was carried out by Control Union Sri Lanka and results were encouraging.This encouraged WWF-Pakistan and the project team to launch expand the project tofrom Lasbela toSibi and Barkhan districts.The project aims to improve income and yield of organic cotton farmers through capacity building of cotton farmers and making organic cotton production sustainable by involving supply chain actors so that an effective system is in place for the procurement of organic seed cotton supported by creating local, national enabling environment.
The Agriculture Extension Department (AED) Balochistan is a project partner and buildingcapacity of organic cotton farmers.