Sustainable cotton production in Pakistan's cotton ginning SMEs (SPRING)

Switch Asia © SAP / WWF-Pakistan
Switch Asia © SAP / WWF-Pakistan
SAP / WWF-Pakistan
Over the years, WWF-Pakistan has been involved in extensive efforts to make cotton cultivation in Pakistan more sustainable by working with around 80,000 cotton farmers across over half a million acres under the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).

As a result in 2010, Pakistan was declared the pioneer country to produce certified ‘Better Cotton’ (BC).

The ginning sector in Pakistan faces various problems related to process efficiency, energy conservation, lint quality, and environment and working conditions, areas which do not get attention. Through this project, WWF aims to expand its efforts further up the supply chain and specifically target cotton ginning Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan, to ensure this critical sector is also addressed in the endeavors to develop a sustainable cotton supply chain from the farm to the final product.

This action will focus on: demonstrating the importance of sustainable cotton production for their business to ginners; developing ginners’ links to both Bette Cotton farmers and procurers; & developing and encouraging adoption of more efficient and sustainable practices.

Involving ginners in Better Cotton production through this project means

  • Reduced energy costs at gins, improved ginning out-turn, increased business and better returns due to improved fibre quality, and ultimately higher profits
  • Reduced dust and noise pollution at 500 ginning SMEs as well improved cotton gin waste management practices
  • Reduced environmental footprint of cotton production at farm through reduced use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers & efficient use of fresh water resources
  • Improved energy efficiency, processing efficiency and waste management at gins
  • Better protection of labour rights, improved working conditions and positive impact on the livelihoods of the workers and their families.
  • Reduced water extraction, pollution and land degradation due to promotion of sustainable cotton production at local communities
Better Ginning Practices (BGPs) and the lessons on adoption will be disseminated to at least 500 gins (out of 1000 in Pakistan) through the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), trainings and exposure visits.

Pakistan Cotton Sector at a Glance

  • Cotton Production
    5th largest producer of cotton,12-14 Million bales
  • Cotton Exports
    3rd largest exporter of raw cotton Largest exporter of cotton yarn
  • Cotton Industry
    400 textile m ills and 1,000 ginneries

Did you know?

Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of cotton, third largest exporter of raw cotton and largest exporter of cotton yarn


Cotton sector employees 40% of Pakistan’s total labour force and nearly 60% of exports
The most frequent response we get from the participating ginners is their admittance of the fact that prior to being part of SWITCH Asia SPRING project, they used to run their ginning facilities as a trading place of processed cotton and they never considered their ginning business as an industry let alone considering about energy conservation, mechanical efficiency or productivity. SPRING has highlighted not only the economic benefits of improving efficiencies but also has raised their consciousness about improving working condition & environment at their ginning factories.

Asad Imran
Senior Manager
Sustainable Agriculture Programme

SAP Projects

  • SPRING Sustainable Cotton Production in Pakistan's Cotton Ginning SMEs
  • PSCI Pakistan Sustainable Cotton Initiative
  • SuPSI Sugar Producer Support Initiative
  • BCFTF Better Cotton Fast Track Fund

  • Understanding the GHG emissions and Water Footprint (environmental footprint) associated with Cotton Cultivation in Cotton-growing Regions of India and Pakistan
WWF-Pakistan Sustainable Agriculture Programme Project Areas
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