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January 17, 2011

Global organic cotton production up by 15%

The amount of organic cotton grown around the world increased 15 percent in 2009-10, the result of continued strong commitments to use of the fibre by brands large and small despite the recession, says to a new report by Textile Exchange.

The report said India maintained its position as the leading organic cotton producing nation for the third year in a row, increasing its production of the fibre by a whopping 37 percent.The other leading organic cotton producers include Syria and Turkey while Pakistan remains in the eight position.

Organic cotton was grown by approximately 274,000 farmers in 23 countries in 2009-2010. It now makes up more than one percent of global cotton production.

Bolstered by continued strong manufacturer demand even during the recessionary times, organic cotton continued its steady growth in 2009-2010, according to a the fifth annual Organic Farm and Fibre report by Textile Exchange, the leading global organic cotton and sustainable textiles non-profit organization formerly known as Organic Exchange.

According to the report, production of organic cotton rose 15 percent from 209,950 metric tonnes (MT) in 2008-09 to 241,276 MT (just over 1.1 million bales) grown on 461,000 hectares (186,560 acres) in 2009-2010. Organic cotton now represents 1.1 percent of global cotton production. Global organic cotton has witnessed a veritable explosion (539 percent increase) in production in the last four years since 2005-06, when only 37,000 MT were produced.

The organization anticipates similar strong growth in this year. With the addition of Tajikistan, organic cotton was grown by approximately 274,000 farmers in 23 countries in 2009-2010 against 22 countries in 2008-09.

India was top producer for 2009-10, growing over 80 percent of the organic cotton produced globally and increasing its production of the fibre by 37 percent over 2009-2010.

Syria moves from third into second place, and Turkey fell from second to third place. The remaining countries in descending order are:

China, United States, Tanzania, Uganda, Peru, Egypt, Mali, Pakistan, Burkina Faso, Israel, Benin, Paraguay, Greece, Tajikistan, Senegal, Nicaragua, South Africa, Brazil, and Zambia.

Organic production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers or genetically-modified seeds.

Pakistan Times

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