Why Organic Cotton Is Safer For Farmers
Organic cotton farmers don’t use toxic hazardous pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Organic is the only system which eliminates highly toxic substances from the environment and instead works holistically, for the long-term benefit of people and the planet.
Organic cotton takes a more systems-based approach, relying on natural inputs and processes to manage fertility and reduce pest damage.
Organic cotton farmers use natural methods like crop rotation to control pests and diseases.
Organic soils require less irrigation. 80% of land producing organic cotton is located in areas which are predominantly rain-fed, requiring considerably less blue water. This means that farmers rely on rain to water their cotton instead of having to extract water from the ground, which can relieve pressure on water supplies in local communities. In addition, organic cotton farmers employ a wide range of techniques to conserve water, including rainwater harvesting. Overall organic cotton requires up to 91% less water to produce (from farm to bale) than conventionally grown cotton. Hazardous synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are banned in organic farming, so rivers, lakes and drinking water are kept cleaner too.
Organic farmers always grow other crops alongside their cotton. These crops can provide farming families with another source of income and their communities with a more stable, accessible, abundant, and diverse food supply.
Genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds are banned in organic farming, so farmers are not reliant on a handful of GM companies. Instead, they save their seeds year after year, and work with the environment in a long-term, sustainable way.