Organic CottonOrganic cotton producers – photo Assah Mwambene

TANZANIA’S cotton industry contributes about 21% of foreign exchange earnings and employs vast numbers of people. Now, a project initiated by the Tanzanian High Commission in London, has been started in Handeni for the cultivation of organic cotton. Organic cotton cultivation brings many advantages – there is increased productivity on farms and higher income for farmers from the sale of the certified cotton; as fertilisers and insecticides are not used there is no pollution of soil and water. The project has been given 100 acres and some 400 farmers registered in March 2005 in the ‘Handeni Organic Farmers’ Association’. Each member signed a contract governing the correct production of the cotton. The project is also sponsoring training and provision of other forms of assistance to the local people.
In 2003 organic textiles sales in Britain increased by 48% compared with the year before. Most of it is used in baby wear and women’s wear.

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