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189 Brazilian farmers go for Better Cotton in 2015: Report
Oct '16
In 2015, around 189 cotton farmers from Brazil were licensed to produced Better Cotton, according to the 2015 Harvest Report for Brazil by BCI, Better Cotton Initiative, a not-for-profit organisation stewarding the global standards for Better Cotton, and bringing together cotton's complex supply chain, from cotton farmers to the retailers.

This marks the fifth year of Better Cotton production in Brazil, and the second year of BCI's Strategic Partnership with ABRAPA, the Brazilian Cotton Growers' Association, that represents farmers that produce about 99 per cent of Brazil's cotton, mainly on large-scale mechanised farms. In 2015, Brazil maintained its position as the largest source of Better Cotton globally.

Around 189 cotton farmers produced 762,000 metric tonnes of Better Cotton lint across 556,000 hectares of land. Including the expansion into the state of Piauí in 2015, a total of seven states now choose to participate in the collaboration between ABR and BCI in Brazil: Bahia, Goiás, Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Piauí.

In 2015, Better Cotton amounted to 57 per cent of the entire cotton crop in Brazil, compared to 45 per cent in 2014. The total volume of cotton produced in Brazil decreased in 2015, boosting Better Cotton's percentage share of Brazil's entire cotton crop. Rainfall shortages, caused by El Niño conditions, presented challenges in 2015 as Brazilian cotton is primarily rain-fed. The North Eastern states of Bahia, Piauí and Maranhão were particularly affected by drought, resulting in lower than expected yields. Farmers used precision agriculture technology, which enables smarter weather prediction and better decision-making through field data analysis, to address the challenging climatic conditions.

ABRAPA's Sustainability Working Group and dedicated Sustainability Manager (an internal working group that was established in 2015 that directs ABRAPA's sustainability and innovation agenda) are working together to pursue sustainable initiatives and maintain the benchmarked agreement with the Better Cotton Standard System. To support more sustainable practices, ABRAPA is looking to invest in technological innovations that offer both social and environmental benefits. Advanced technology currently plays a key role in Brazilian cotton fields, particularly in enabling farmers to stay resilient through challenging weather conditions. (GK)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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