• Cross-thematic
07. October 2021

Increasing resilience for small scale cotton farmers through diversification and landscape approaches

The production of cotton in a sustainable and resilient manner gains more and more importance in times of dramatic climatic changes, the deterioration of nature and growing social imbalances. Additionally, and intensified by the COVID 19 pandemic, consumers demand for sustainably produced textiles increases significantly. Several big brands announced to solely use sustainable cotton until 2025. Following, a projection of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) the rapid growth in demand will likely outstrip supply of sustainable resources and result in scarcity. 

Diversification on farm- and on landscape level is important to increase the resilience of smallholders in cotton production.

Diversification on farming system level like crop rotation and intercropping leads to proven agronomic, environmental and economic benefits. Nevertheless, considering diversification on farm-level alone leads to isolated approaches within more complex challenges. Therefore, it is necessary to also engage in more comprehensive approaches to manage diverse landscapes. By this, extensive monocultures or leakage effects between sustainably and unsustainably used land patches are avoided and synergies of ecosystem services including carbon sequestration and water capture can be valued. Eventually resilient landscapes are essential to secure the sourcing of agricultural commodities.

On the occasion of this TRT we will share and discuss several findings and experiences:

  • Boosting Biodiversity and Improving Farmer Livelihoods Through Crop Diversification”, a study conducted by the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and financially supported by GIZ. It identified the crop diversification practices that optimise the agronomic, environmental and economic benefits for Indian organic cotton farmers as well as revealed the key levers to promoting the use of crop diversification practices on farm and maximising their potential for income generation.

    Download the report here: https://www.organiccottonaccelerator.org/crop-diversification

    Speaker: Mathilde Tournebize - Programme Manager Seed and Innovation Organic Cotton Accelerator
  • ATLA Project (Adaptation to Landscape Approach) by BCI: in 2021, BCI started to explore how its current systems and the Better Cotton Standard could be adapted to a landscape or jurisdictional approach. As part of the ATLA project, BCI is working with “The Proforest Initiative”, which supports BCI’s global strategy for landscape adaptation and oversees two pilot projects in Pakistan (Punjab province) and Turkey (Buyuk Menderes river basin). The ATLA project has been possible thanks to a grant from the ISEAL Innovations Fund, which is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO.

    Speaker: Gregory Jean - Standard and Learning Manager
    Better Cotton Initiatve BCI
  • Sustainability in a landscape approach for cotton production by GIZ Global Project “Sustainability and Value Added in the Agricultural Supply Chains”/Cotton India. The project focusses on sustainable plant protection, reduced water footprint, soil-health, carbon sequestration and crop diversification. It implements a shelf-to-farm value chain approach on enhancing sustainable cotton production and strengthening supply chain actors. The project has a strong partnership with the private sector and academia, global cotton standards (Better Cotton Initiative, Organic and Fairtrade Standard) and leading global and national textile brands, including premier research institutes from cotton and textile universities.

    Speakers: Rossitza Krüger, Project Manager India
    Vikash Sinha, Senior Technical Advisor
    GIZ Global Programme ‘Sustainability and Value Added in Agricultural Supply Chains’
  • Collective action for increased climate resilience through a landscape approach in Tanzania by GIZ International Services funded by Laudes-Foundation.  In the regions of Singida and Simiyu, public and private sector stakeholders as well as farmers and their communities are brought together to engage in multi-stakeholder dialogues at village level on water management and climate-smartness. The programme “Climate-Smart Organic Cotton Programme Tanzania” works in close cooperation with HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM).       

    Speaker: Hendrik Buermann, Senior Regional Project Manager, giz International Services

Presentation for the event

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