BCI farmers get better yield with sustainable farming

November 23, 2020 - Switzerland

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) farmers have achieved tangible results through more sustainable farming practices, according to the 2018-19 BCI Farmer Results. In the 2018-19 cotton season, the BCI and its on-the-ground partners provided training on more sustainable farming practices to more than 2.3 million cotton farmers in 23 countries.

With BCI training, support and capacity building, BCI farmers are better equipped to tackle pertinent issues in cotton production, such as water use, pest management and gender inequality, and produce cotton in a way that is measurably better for themselves, the environment and farming communities, BCI said in a press release.

BCI Farmer Results provide an overview of the outcomes BCI farmers are experiencing at field level by participating in the BCI programme and adhering to the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria (P&C). Adhering to the Better Cotton P&C enables BCI farmers to produce cotton in a way that is measurably better for people, the environment and farming communities.

Each cotton season, BCI and partners collect data from BCI farmers to monitor and assess a range of social, environmental, and economic indicators. BCI provides an analysis of this data through our annual farmer results report. Six countries where the Better Cotton Standard System was implemented in the 2018-19 season, China, India, Mali, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Turkey.

BCI farmers in Pakistan used 15 per cent less synthetic fertiliser. BCI farmers in Mali used 31 per cent fewer pesticides. BCI farmers in Tajikistan applied bio-pesticides 8 per cent more often. BCI farmers in China used 10 per cent less water.

BCI farmers in India achieved 11 per cent higher yields. BCI farmers in Pakistan achieved 38 per cent higher profits. In Turkey, 73 per cent of BCI farmers had advanced awareness of child labour issues. In Mali, 39 per cent of BCI farmers and farm workers trained on more sustainable farming practices were women.

All BCI farmer results are relative to the results achieved by comparison farmers (non-BCI farmers in the same geographic area who are not participating in the BCI programme). For example, in the 2018-19 cotton season, BCI farmers in Pakistan used 15 per cent less synthetic fertiliser than comparison farmers.