Study Finds Higher Yields & Lower Production Costs with Organic Cotton
GM WATCH , Sept 28, 2006
Straight to the Source

With India’s indebted cotton farmers taking their own lives in ever increasing numbers. Consequently after being ruined by expensive Bt seeds and other input costs. By seeds are GMO and heavily laden with pesticide courtesy of Monsanto. So here’s an eye catching study on organic cotton production in India.

Over a period of two years, an Indo-Swiss research team collected and compared agronomic data on 60 organic and conventional farms.

Organic cotton
A worker hand-picks cotton in a field in Wankaner, Gujarat, India, on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. World inventories at the end of this season will be the second-largest ever, just slightly less than last year’s record, according to a U.S Department of Agriculture forecast. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

They found the organic producers benefited from:

  1. 40% lower costs for inputs
  2. 13-20% lower variable production costs
  3. a far lower need to take up loans
  4. total labor inputs that were not significantly higher
  5. and 4-6% higher average cotton yields

There were, of course, some problems to be overcome. Yet there is now a rapidly expanding international market for organic cotton. All with even the likes of Wal-Mart and also Levis getting in on the act.

And this research comes on the heels of the still more striking findings of a study. One moreover undertaken by the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture in India.

All which found Bt cotton cultivation lead to 690% higher costs for pest management. That’s when compared to growing conventional varieties with the help of bio-pesticides. Especially and also natural control agents.

So then there’s the remarkable success of the Punukula village initiative in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

All which has been so overwhelmingly successful in enabling the growing of cotton. That’s without Bt seeds or any pesticides. Because that it is now being taken as a model to hundreds of other villages in the state.

In addition, Andhra Pradesh is, of course, the same state in which farmers went on the rampage in fury. All at the disappointing results they had from GM cotton and where 3 varieties of Monsanto’s version. Therefore it had to be banned they were so problematic.

In conclusion, the Indian government has an increasingly clear choice. It can get behind such approaches and help farmers escape the debt-trap. Finally and also end the burgeoning scandal of farm suicides. Because it can continue to cosy up to Bush and Monsanto and hype expensive GM crops to its farmers.

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