Organic Cotton Means Less Water Pollution

One of the main issues associated with conventional cotton farming is that of water pollution owing to the high usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides during cultivation.

Water pollution can be minimized using organic and improved farming practices, says a study financed by clothing company C&A and conducted by the Water Footprint Network (WFN) and CottonConnect.

WFN uses the term greywater footprint, which means the volume of freshwater required to assimilate a certain load of pollutants reaching ground and surface water so that the quality of the water remains above water quality standards.

According to the study, cotton farmers can reduce their greywater footprint by adopting organic cultivation. On the basis of data collected from 480 farmers from Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, it was concluded that organic methods of cultivation did impact water (due to leaching of nitrogen and phosphorous from organic fertilizers), but the total impact was almost 50 times less than that caused from conventional farming.

CottonConnect has already started talking about these results with more than 20,000 conventional cotton farmers in South Asia and China, motivating them to go organic. “We try to make farmers more sensitive to the benefits of organic farming, reduce inputs and save water,” says Anita Chester, CEO, CottonConnect.

Anita however says that there are many challenges for organic cotton farming. Sensitive prices, unavailability of good quality organic seeds and less premium on organic cotton has made is a less lucrative option. Therefore CottonConnect and C&A are also working on a program to develop organic cotton seeds.

To build up more trust around organic cotton cultivation, WFN (sponsored by C&A) is also carrying out a new study focusing on a detailed analysis of the impacts of conventional and organic cotton farming on water quality.

Photo Courtesy: CottonConnect

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1 Comment for “Organic Cotton Means Less Water Pollution”

  1. [...] less than that caused from conventional farming. CottonConnect … … See more here: Organic Cotton Means Less Water Pollution | sustainable cotton … ← Flowing on the Edge: Community Based Climate Change Training The Impact of Paper Waste [...]

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