Organic cotton farming is based on the concepts of habitat management and ecological engineering to ensure rejuvenation of soil health for the production of a healthy crop that is least vulnerable to insect pests and diseases. Organic cotton forbids the use of genetically engineered seeds, chemical fertilisers, synthetic pesticides and chemical plant growth regulators.
The global share of organic cotton production in 2016 was 0.4% and the area was 0.1%. In 2016, there were 8,303 organic certification centres and 50 to 60 brands that marketed organic cotton across the world. The global production of organic cotton increased from 24,000 tonnes in 2004 to 240,000 tonnes in 2009, but since decreased to 108,000 tonnes in 2016. In 2015/16, 18 countries produced organic cotton. India was the world’s largest producer of organic cotton with 56% of the global share, with China producing 14% of the global share. Continuous decreases in area under organic cotton production have led to decreases in production. Reductions in planted area are likely due to:
• Low yields;
• Lack of scientific support;
• Production costs and price premiums;
• Certification and traceability; and
• Marketing and consumer demand