Better Cotton in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is a primarily agricultural economy, with 24% of the population employed in agriculture. It’s also the world’s most northerly cotton-growing country.
The country has more land than its Central Asian neighbours, yet grows comparatively less cotton, with farmers focusing largely on food crops such as grains. Temperatures in Southern and South-eastern Kazakhstan are best for cotton production. Most farms (70%) in these regions are run by families, and smallholders account for an estimated 95% of total cotton production.
Better Cotton Partner in Kazakhstan
- Tianli Agri
Kazakhstan is a Better Cotton Standard Country
Find out what this means?
Which regions grow Better Cotton in Kazakhstan?
Cotton is only grown in the Southern districts (known as “oblasts”) where average temperatures of 19-33ºC during the harvest season are favourable to the crop.
When is Better Cotton grown in Kazakhstan?
Cotton is sown in April and harvested from September to November. Farmers typically plant local, medium staple cotton varieties with a short growing period of 110-120 days.
Cotton farmers in Kazakhstan face harsh climate conditions, with high temperatures and scarce water supplies. This lack of water, combined with poor soil health and pest pressure, makes for tough growing conditions. Louis Dreyfus Company helps farmers address these challenges by adopting simple, affordable techniques to improve soil health.
For example, farmers learn to analyse the soil samples to understand when to apply fertilisers and how much to use. Better Cotton Farmers also take a precision approach to fighting pests. With the help of our Programme Partner, they’ve made considerable progress, monitoring pest numbers and only applying pesticides when they reach a certain threshold. In both cases, and where budget allows, they invest in biological fertilisers and pesticides that are kinder to the earth.
To help overcome their shared challenges and buy inputs in a more cost-effective way, the Kazakhstan government is encouraging farmers to work together in large cooperatives. However, with many smallholders used to traditional ways of farming, they are wary of changing their ways and the risk of potentially buying more expensive products. Enabling farmers to see the benefits of sustainable practices for themselves will be vital to encouraging this transition.
Find out more about the outcomes farmers are experiencing by participating in the Better Cotton programme in our latest Farmer Results Report.
Get in touch
Contact our team via the contact form if you’d like to learn more, become a partner or you’re a farmer interested in farming Better Cotton.