Cotton is an important fibre and cash crop which plays a dominant role in the industrial and agricultural economy of India. India being the second largest producer of cotton in the world is also one of the preferred sourcing sites for various international textile brands and retailers. Cotton alone uses more than half the chemical pesticides used in the entire agricultural production in India. Rising demand compels cotton growers to adopt unsustainable methods which may pose serious challenges to the environment through the excessive use of inputs like water, fertilizers and pesticides. The project is located at Rajkot district of Gujarat will be implemented under the umbrella of BCI. The project will be covering three producer units (Pus) and 10500 number of farmers.
Better Cotton Initiative in a global initiative to promote sustainable cotton farming practices to work on key challenges and issues associated with cotton farming. The BCI model works on following principles and criteria’s.
BCI has reinforced its approach to crop protection with increased restrictions on the use of hazardous pesticides. In addition, the approach to health and safety has evolved to include a stricter requirement on minimum personal protective equipment.
BCI has broadened the scope of its water principle and aligned it with the concept of ‘water stewardship,’ a holistic water management approach that encourages collective action towards sustainable use of water at a local level.
A comprehensive soil management approach is now integrated into the P&C that includes identification of soil type and encourages better nutrient management through mandatory soil testing.
The P&C now require the development of a biodiversity management plan that includes the identification and mapping of biodiversity resources. It also addresses the need to manage degraded areas and protect riparian areas.
There is a new requirement to further reduce foreign contamination through the phasing out of synthetic bags during hand-harvesting, storage and transportation. Also farmers to maintain receipts of their Better Cotton sales
The role of the P&C in supporting farmers to adapt to the effects of climate change and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions has been highlighted and clarified.
Decent Work – Gender Equality:
The P&C now provide a sharper position on gender equality, better aligned with the International Labour Organization’s Decent Work agenda. Improved guidance on various topics such as child labour, sanitation facilities and equal payment have also been included.
BCI’s approach to child labour in family smallholdings seeks to foreground the basic issues at stake – the child’s right to education, children’s health and developmental well-being according to age and activity.
OBJECTIVE OF THE PROGRAMME:
- Impart knowledge and skill to the producers (farmers, farm family, farm labours) about Better Cotton Standard Systems.
- To demonstrate the use of integrated pest management practices: an environment friendly approach to reduce the use of chemical pesticides.
- Protect environment through of soil and water management.
- Establish and strengthen farmers’ organizations/institution.
- To streamline better cotton standard system in the project area by adopting advocacy approach with ongoing government schemes & CSR support.
- Build the capacity of LG leaders and involve labours, women group towards better cotton cultivation practices as well as motivate them to adopt alternate livelihood generation options.
- To bring behavioral changes among the cotton growing farmers as well as farm labours on the aspects of decent work particularly child labour and health & safety measures.
- To improve the socio-economic condition of small & marginal farmers as well as sharecropper.
FOCUS AREA :Food Security & Livelihood
Duration : April 2023- March 2024
Location : 2 Districts Rajkot and Junagad
STATES : Gujarat
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