Inclusive empowerment

Globally, around 33 million hectares are planted with cotton, out of which 12 million hectares are in India. Cotton is a very important fibre crop for India as it provides the basic raw material to cotton textile industry. India has nine major cotton producing states and Solidaridad has been working on improving the cotton since 2004 by promoting the use of both organic cotton and BCI cotton projects initially in states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. It then gradually expanded its scope of work to other states as well.

The cotton programme at Solidaridad has impacted the lives of 55,000 farmers covering 60,000 hectares of farmland across India. The broader strategic areas of work are sustainable cotton farming for smaller farmers working under rainfed conditions by increasing productivity and decreasing agricultural inputs, improving soil health through composting and other appropriate methodologies, conserving water through mulching, empowering women by enhancing self-help groups, and promoting collective farmer action through the formation of farmer producer organizations.

Solidaridad’s cotton portfolio is planning to broaden its spectrum further by building resilient farming communities. It will take up approaches like the “Sustainable Village model” and an integrated landscape approach. The programme will also promote inclusivity by engaging the entire family in increasing overall family income and thereby contributing to the community well-being.

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