Cotton Farm Partners
Mecilla's organic cotton is traceable to three farms, in Tajikistan, China and India.
Central Asia Tajikistan Non Commercial Bio-Kishovarz
Mecilla is an official trade partner of non-commercial cooperative Bio-Kishovarz, to sell organic agricultural produces, mostly cotton, to China and ASEAN markets.
Established by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, the Bio-Kishovarz Co-operative began history as the ‘Organic Value Chain Development Project’. The objective of the project was to enable autonomy amongst the Tajik farmers. NGO and donor support was intended to catalyse a ‘system change’ in the Tajik farming sector (particularly in cotton), allowing farmers to increase their incomes and improve livelihoods in a sustainable way through alternative value chains.
- Name of area in Tajikistan: Sogd Oblast
- Region: Khugand, Tajikistan
- Number of villages: 49
- Total Area under certified organic or in-conversion cultivation: 3413ha
- Area under certified cotton cultivation: 1611ha
- Organic area: 847.6ha
- In-conversion area: 763ha
- Average cotton yield per ha: 2.7tons/ha
- Number of farmers involved: 1180
- Ratio of female farmers: 43%
- Certified cotton output: 1100tons (estimated)
- Organic cotton: 600tons
- In-conversion cotton: 500tons
- Certified by IMO
China Puhan Farmers Association 蒲韩农民协会
PFA is a farmers’ association located in Shanxi Province, with a membership of around 3,800 farmers covering 35 villages, one of the largest in China.
PFA is central to the realization of a model sustainable rural community in China, by not only organizing farmers and extension workers for capacity building and production in Yongji for environmental and economic sustainability, PFA is also active in organizing community projects such as rural toilet building, cultural activities for ladies (e.g. singing and dancing), men (chess playing), kids (summer camps), old people (light excursion). Their participation in forming outreach groups to other farmers association will be important as they can bring to the table their unique expertise and experience in organizing farmers in China.
As China has decided to pursue a green direction in rural development, the need for holistic development concept and related services is increasingly felt by farmers cooperatives and governors at all levels. Mecilla is working with producer alliances and networks of governors in developing holistic organic farming.
In 2010, Mecilla started collaboration with Shanxi Yongji Farmers Association to explore the possibility of promoting the cultivation of organic cotton.
- Community scale: 35 villages
- Involved Farmers: 800 families
- Percentage of rural women: 43%
- Total cultivated area involved in the Mecilla's project in 2010: 2000 mu
- Expected pre-organic cotton per year: 17 tonnes
- Area that is certified organic in 2015: 200m
India Pratima Organic Grower Group
Pratima Agro & Paper Private Limited (PAPL) believes in the 'trade not aid' approach to rural development came forward to organize the farmers around farming and promoting farmer owned association - Pratima Organic Growers Group (POGG) - in the year 2006 to promote organic and fairtrade cotton. Objective of the initiative is to work with marginalized farming communities in remote South Western Odisha to improve livelihoods by increasing efficiencies, lowering input costs and raising incomes through certification. South Western Odisha particularly Balangir district is well known for the chronic underdevelopment and its dubious reputation being heart of the migrating labourers.
POGG ethos and objectives centre on farmer empowerment. The mission is empowering farmers through ownership and training. Since, the inception of POGG, a total number of 3,679 farmers transitioned into sustainable agriculture certified for organic and fairtrade standards covering 4,579 hectares. This initiative ensured economic sustainability through organic production of cotton and rotational crops; and social sustainability through improved business performance, increased employment and better health.