Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has announced a new partnership with the Israel Cotton Production & Marketing Board (ICB). As per the partnership, 100 per cent of Israeli farmers have signed-up to BCI, and Better Cotton from their first harvest is already available. With the addition of Israel, BCI now operates in 21 countries worldwide.
While Israel is a relatively small cotton producer, it demonstrates highly advanced practices at field level. Examples include country-wide implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) methodology based on plot specific scouting of pests and beneficial organisms, regular area-wide infestation assessment, cultural control methods, a pest resistance monitoring routine and regulated usage of pesticides. In the realm of water and nutrition management, highly controlled and cost beneficial application of these inputs are based on direct plant and soil monitoring. The hallmark of the Israeli cotton sector and its proven success in producing high yields of excellent quality cotton is the result of ongoing collaboration between growers and their cooperatives, ginners, extension services and research and development activities and institutions. This cooperation is coordinated under the leadership of ICB.
Israel produces predominantly extra long staple, feeding the Better Cotton supply chain with the highest quality cotton fibre. Many BCI members use Extra Long Staple to produce high-quality textiles.