Summary of the project – The breeding programme for non-Genetically Modified (GM) cotton seeds project is a 3 – year project which is established at Pratibha-Vasudha cooperative, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India led and managed by trained and experienced farmers. Altogether, 1500 cotton farmers would have access to a total of 9,200 organic cotton seed packets having 450 gm each to be employed by the farmers at Vasudha cooperative. Yearly targets set are – 1800 Packets to be produced in year 1 (2017); 3000 packets in year 2 (2018) and 4,400 packets in Year 3 (2019). The overall aim is to provide benefits to cotton producers of Vasudha cooperative with improved access to high-value UK Fairtrade Cotton markets.
Objective: Cover altogether 1500 farmers at Vasudha Co-operative to experience greater independence, improved livelihoods and yields, reduced environmental footprint and better market opportunities through self-provided access to high value non-Genetically Modified (GM) cotton seeds.
Current status: As on Oct 2018, the project is doing quite well in the early 2nd year. During the recent visit to project fields, NAPP representatives interviewed few of the project beneficiaries to understand about the experiences of farmers and how they seem to have benefitted or expecting to benefit from the project. The following were the excerpts shared:
(a) Roopsingh Chouhan – Mohad Village, Madhya Pradesh, India – 0.5 acre of Land (Seed project)
“The seed project was very crucial for the cotton farmers of Mohad village, Madhya Pradesh, India as the availability of non-GMO seeds is always a concern before the sowing season. At many times during peak periods, the availability of seeds is less, resulting into increase in seed prices. With the seed breeding initiative, we look forward to getting solutions during peak time. Also, due to knowledge gained from this pilot project, we would be able to scale up such initiatives in association with other neighboring farmers. We are now waiting for the 1st cycle of harvested outputs and after the testing phase, we shall understand the success of the project. As a cotton farmer, this is one of the solutions for the availability of quality input seed we were exploring to address and now we hope to have found the same. I must thank you all especially Pratibha for the opportunity given to me to be associated with the pilot project and also to all other stakeholders for supporting us.”
(b) Kailash Chandra Patidar – Bhudari Village – 1 Acre land (Seed project:
“For this seed breeding project, I took keen interest to take forward the initiative of quality seed production through own farming. As non-GMO seed availability is always a concern for farmers like me, I find this support a quality input for the cotton farming in our village. At present, I am doing the project in 1 acre of land and till date I am happy with the performance of the plants. I have dedicatedly set up fertigation input systems in my farm area which allows me to take care of organic medication in the seed production. The knowledge I gained from Pratibha experts on farming techniques and developing own organic inputs for farming, has been the major success factor for the project as on date.”