BCI works with Abrapa (Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Algodão) as the Implementing Partner in Brazil since 2010. Better Cotton is grown in Bahia, Goias, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, and most recently, in Mato Grosso do Sul.
In Brazil, cotton is sown from November to February and harvested from April to September. The 2011-12 harvest is only just finishing, so 2011-12 data presented here is based on licensing figures.
In 2011-12, 100 farmers cultivated Better Cotton in Brazil, as opposed to 50 farmers in 2010-11. In that year,80% were smallholders cultivating less than 10 hectareswhile most large farms cultivated Better Cotton on between1000 and 2500 hectares. In 2011-12, while the number ofsmallholders only slightly increased, there were six timesas many large farms producing Better Cotton compared tothe previous year. Note: licensed values only
As the 2011-12 harvest is just finishing in Brazil, the final results are not available yet. The data presented here corresponds to baseline data collected in 2010-11 season.
The baseline average yield of the large farms growing Better Cotton was about 1600 kg cotton lint per hectare.
Except in a few small areas, Better Cotton is typically not irrigated in Brazil, so the total use of water for irrigation is low. Better Cotton farmers use a variety of adapted methods such as tillage, terracing and level curve to maximize the benefits of rain water.
Large farms analyse and map the soil of their land in order to determine the correct amount and type of fertilizers to apply. In 2010-11, Better Cotton large farms used 600 kg of commercial fertilizer per hectare.
The baseline yield of Better Cotton smallholders was about 800 kg lint/ha.
Smallholders do not irrigate their land and are dependent on rainfall. Better Cotton farmers practiced level curve and sub soiling, which breaks apart compacted layers of soil and allows better penetration of water into the soil.
Smallholders used an average of 300 kg of commercial fertilizer per hectare. The cost of fertilizers represents an important expense for smallholders.
For more information please see our Annual Reports