Global organic cotton production has gone up 56 per cent, reveals Textile Exchange. India, Tanzania, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and China all have significant areas of cotton-growing land in transition to organic. The number of facilities certified to voluntary organic standards is also on the rise. Cotton is grown organically in 19 countries around the world. Organic cotton now makes up 0.7 per cent of total cotton production globally. Most farmers engaged in this production are smallholders growing organic cotton in rotation with other crops. In India organic cotton farmers have increased the proportion of certified land used to grow cotton (as opposed to other organic crops) from 45 per cent to 70 per cent, which contributes in part to the 44 per cent growth seen in India’s production.
However, farmers access to cotton seed that has not been genetically modified remains a huge obstacle for organic farmers, particularly in countries such as China and India where GM cotton dominates the cotton landscape.