IMPRESSIONS from a Cross-section


How will farmers benefit from this project?

Farmers who produce seeds earn 50 per cent more
An ambitious three-year project is being run in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh with the aim to generate superior non-GM hybrids with capability of producing high-quality cotton that have better industry-required fibre parameters. Three organisations have got involved with the programme—Fairtrade Foundation is working in partnership with Pratibha Syntex, an Indian vertically-integrated manufacturer of knitted textiles to pioneer the seeds, and the project is funded by TRAID, UK. Fibre2Fashion spoke to professionals from each of these organisations to understand how the seed breeding project will make life easier for cotton farmers.

The producer group will become self-sustaining after three years so that the income that comes from the sale of seeds can go back into the next stage and input required for seed hybridisation.

Three years after completion of the project, farmers will have their own non-GM hybrids. They will be well-trained to produce seeds for all organic and Fairtrade farmers in the areas. We aim to scale up and go in different geographies. The seed thus produced shall be sold to farmers through farmer cooperatives, thereby earning enough revenue for the project to carry sustainably.
The seed yields an average production quantity of 650–800 kg per acre, and revenue of Rs 36,000–44,000 per acre. Farmers who produce seeds earn 50 per cent more.

For those farmers who transition to growing organically, the benefits are manifold—from better health outcomes for themselves, their families and communities, to the ecosystem by reducing contamination of water and increasing biodiversity. Growing cotton organically also uses at least 90 per cent less water than conventional cotton and creates healthy soils.

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Published on: 15/05/2020

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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