CABI’s work to help Pakistan produce better c

image: Cotton is sorted on a farm during harvest in Matiari district, Sindh province, Pakistan
to see Continued

Credit: Asim Hafeez for CABI

CABI’s work to help Pakistani cotton farmers reduce annual losses of around $350 million due to poor production, transport and storage practices under the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) was extended for three years.

CABI center in Pakistan secured £1.59 million in funding from the Better Cotton Growth & Innovation Fund to help Pakistan produce over 451,887 metric tonnes of cotton lint by 2025.

To achieve this, CABI will reach more than 52,956 cotton farmers and nearly 105,248 workers with training and knowledge-sharing workshops on issues such as good cotton harvesting, health and safety, empowerment of women and child labor prevention.

The project also plans to establish a central soil testing and analysis laboratory – with the support of farmers and at no cost to them – to help ensure that the soil is fertile and of the best quality for the proper production of lint cotton in the field.

Other plans include controlling cotton pests safely and effectively once the crop is in production, as well as raising awareness of the need to use personal protective equipment when applying pesticides.

The project will also seek to advise farmers on the use of yellow sticky traps and pheromone traps for the monitoring and control of cotton sucking pests and pink bollworms. It will also seek to introduce attractive crops to promote biodiversity and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as well as how to prepare compost efficiently.

Other works to improve livelihoods and women’s empowerment are the planned establishment of food orchards for greater food security of smallholder farmers and the development of women’s entrepreneurship for sustainable income generation through sewing centers.

Value addition will also be sought for greater income generation for poorer female agricultural workers through animal husbandry such as raising chickens for eggs and meat.

Cotton is Pakistan’s largest industrial sector and has played an important role in the country’s economic development and remains a key source of income for over one million farmers.

However, overuse of pesticides and water, inappropriate use of chemical fertilizers, transport and storage problems as well as knowledge and skills gaps have resulted in the industry losing approximately 10 to 15% of its value.

It is hoped that the expansion of CABI’s work under the BCI Initiative will not only continue to increase cotton yields for Pakistan’s cotton farmers and therefore their livelihoods, but also empower women. who also play a key role in the production of the harvest as well as the family. unity and community at large.

Noor Nabi BhuttoBCI Project Manager in Sindh Province, said: “By awarding the grant to fund our work to help produce better cotton for another three years, the Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Fund has been impressed. by our strong organizational systems, the competence of our staff, our body. research and our positive gender aspirations.

“We now look forward to helping even more cotton farms in Pakistan protect their crops from harmful pests and diseases while preserving natural habitats and empowering female farm workers who play a very important role in cotton production. .

“We will also seek to increase the staff working on the project to 232. This will give us an even greater capacity to implement all aspects of the main activities that we seek to carry out over the lifetime of the project.”

Further information

Main picture: cotton is sorted on a farm during harvest in Matiari district, Sindh province, Pakistan (Asim Hafeez for CABI).

Project page

Find out how CABI is helping produce better cotton in Pakistan as part of the Better Cotton Initiative on the project page here.

Other relevant report

See also news “CABI reports good progress in 2021 through its work with the Better Cotton Initiative in Pakistan.”

Impact story

Since 2014, CABI has helped over 30,000 farmers and 62,600 farm workers conserve natural resources, protect the environment and themselves, by limiting the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides as part of the Better Cotton Initiative. By adopting more sustainable alternatives, yields have improved, as have profits, while costs have fallen.

Learn more about the impact story: “Helping cotton farmers, like Pakistan’s ‘compost champion’, improve their productivity.”

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