Organic cotton has a significant positive impact on the environment, health, and farmers' living standards：
Cotton is one of the most chemically intensive crops. It occupies just 5 percent of all farmland in India, yet accounts for nearly half of the country's agrochemical use.* Organic cotton farming uses non-genetically modified seeds along with other organic inputs and helps reduce environmental damage and conserve the eco-system. Click here to learn more about the environmental benefits of organic cotton cultivation.
*Source： International Food Policy Research Institute. 2008a.
Since many farmers are not equipped with appropriate protective gear for handling chemicals, agrochemicals used in conventional cotton farming often cause serious health concerns including skin and respiratory disease. Safety of drinking water is also a concern since farmers depend on wells near cotton fields where agrochemicals are used. More organic farming means less chemicals and healthier lives for farmers and livestock animals in the area.
By converting to organic farming, farmers are able to reduce input costs by up to ～50% compared to GMO cotton, which accounts for approximately 90% of Indian cotton farming today. This is because: organic cotton seeds are cheaper than GMO cotton seeds; unlike GMO seeds organic seeds are reproductive and farmers do not have to make an investment or loan to obtain new seeds at the beginning of each harvest; farmers also benefit from reduced input costs to purchase pesticides and insecticides. These cost savings are enough to offset the yield decrease of approximately 20% and significantly reduces mental stress and financial risk of becoming deeply indebted.