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The Impact of Organic Cotton Farming on the Livelihoods of Smallholders. Evidence from the Maikaal bioRe poject in central India

Eyhorn, Frank; Mäder, Paul and Ramakrishnan, Mahesh (2005) The Impact of Organic Cotton Farming on the Livelihoods of Smallholders. Evidence from the Maikaal bioRe poject in central India. Research Report. Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL) CH-Frick.

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Online at: http://www.fibl.org/english/cooperation/projects/documents/maikaal-research-report.pdf

Summary

This research report analyses the impact of conversion to organic cotton farming on the livelihoods of smallholders in the Maikaal bioRe organic cotton project in Madhya Pradesh, central India. For that purpose, it compares farm profile data, material and financial input/output and soil parameters of organic and conventional farms over two cropping periods (2003 – 2005). The results show that organic farms achieve cotton yields that are on a par with those in conventional farms, though nutrient inputs are considerably lower. With less production costs and a 20% organic price premium, gross margins from cotton are thus substantially higher than in the conventional system. Even if the crops grown in rotation with cotton are sold without organic price premium, profits in organic farms are higher. In the perception of most organic farmers, soil fertility significantly improved after conversion. However, the analysis of soil fertility parameters in soil samples from organic and conventional cotton fields has shown only minor differences in organic matter content and water retention.
The research indicates that organic cotton farming can be a viable option to improve incomes and reduce vulnerability of smallholders in the tropics. To use this potential it is important to find suitable approaches to enable marginalised farmers managing the hurdles of conversion to the organic farming system.


EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Maikaal, Indien, organic farming, cotton, soil fertility, Bodenfruchtbarkeit
Subjects: Crop husbandry
Soil > Soil quality
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International Cooperation
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/english/cooperation/projects/organiccotton2.php, http://www.fibl.org/international/projekte/maikaal.php, http://www.fibl.org/english/cooperation/projects/documents/maikaal-research-report.pdf
Deposited By: Eyhorn, Frank
ID Code:10362
Deposited On:11 Jan 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Status:Unpublished
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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