In 2011-2012, BCI Implementing Partners worked in 9 states. The Implementing Partners are:
•ACF (Ambuja Cement Foundation)
• AFPRO (Action For Food Production)
In India, cotton is generally sown from April onwards and harvested from September onwards.
In 2011-12, 35,000 licensed farmers produced 32,000 MT of Better Cotton lint on 47,500 hectares, a scale-upfrom 2010-11, when 12,500 licensed farmers producedthe equivalent of over 10,000 MT of Better Cotton lint on16,000 hectares.
At 660 kg of lint cotton per hectare, Better Cotton farmers in 2011-12 had a 20% higher yield than control farmers. Average yield was also higher than in 2010-11. The common progress suggests that the adoption of Better Cotton practices can result in higher yields. Impact studies are still needed, when data for longer period is available, to confirm this trend.
In India, about half of the Better Cotton farmers irrigate their cotton fields. In Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharasthtra and Andha Pradesh, between 90 and 100% of the Better Cotton farmers rely on irrigation. Better Cotton farmers use water efficiently and care for its availability. In 2011-2012, farmers who irrigated their field used less water than control farmers.
In 2011-12, Better Cotton farmers used on average 40% less commercial pesticides (in volume of active ingredient applied per hectare) than control farmers. In parallel, the use of botanic pesticides was much more widespread among Better Cotton farmers in 2011-12.
Profitability, like water use, fluctuates from year to year. Better Cotton farmers’ average profitability was 50% higher than that of control farmers. As we collect more data in the coming years and can conduct proper impact studies, hopefully this apparent trend will be confirmed.
The optimum level of fertilizer required depends on the needs of the soil. It is simplistic, even erroneous, to look at reductions/increases in the fertilizer use in the short term as a measure of improvement. A longer term perspective is required to be able to paint an accurate picture of progress. In 2011-2012, Better Cotton farmers used more organic fertilizers than in 2010-2011, and three times as much as control farmers. This reflects particular efforts made by IPs in promoting the use of organic fertilizers (which improves soil health), principally farmyard manure.
For more information please see our Annual Reports