How is Organic Cotton better for Farmers?

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How is Organic Cotton better for Farmers?

Here at Frugi we think it's important that our consumers and retailers understand the difference organic cotton farming makes to farmers and their families.

There are a lot of scary stories out there about how growing conventional cotton (using pesticides etc) impacts the lives of farmers and their families and it really upsets us sensitive Frugi souls to think about how much they can suffer. We much prefer to sleep soundly at night knowing that our Organic Cotton farmers get a better deal…

Organic Cotton Farmers aren’t exposed to nasty chemicals
In conventional cotton farming, farmers use all sorts of pesticides in the fields. In fact, conventional cotton farming uses some of the most hazardous chemicals on the market. This is a real problem in developing countries where many farmers don’t have the knowledge or the access to the right equipment to handle the pesticides safely. As a result the farmers (and their families) are at risk of pesticide poisoning. The World Health Organisation estimates that between 20,000 to 40,000 people die from accidental pesticide poisoning each year, and they attribute a large proportion of this to cotton farming :(

Organic Cotton Farmers receive a fair price for their crop
What’s important about this, is not just that the farmers have enough to support their families, but also that they don’t fall into debt. In conventional cotton farming, the cost of running the farm is often higher than the amount they receive for their crop. Many farmers end up borrowing money, either from banks or cotton buyers. The risk with this is that they are unable to pay back debts, and in developing countries this is a real problem and leads to a very high rate of suicide amongst farmers.

This is Chatar…he’s been a cotton farmer for as long as he can remember! Several years ago Chatar decided to convert from conventional cotton to organic cotton because of the better price. Before he switched, Chatar was losing precious money because of rising cultivation costs and decreasing yields…and the poor price he was receiving for his cotton was not helping!
Since Chatar converted to organic cotton, his cultivation costs have dropped. A lot. He doesn’t have to spend money on all those pesticides any more. Yay!

He’s also found that his cotton yield is stronger, and so he’s earning more and is able to provide a better life for his family which means his children will be able to go to college.