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Media release February 02, 2006

New extension tools for organic cotton production

The Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland, has developed a set of new guide books and training materials on organic cotton production in the tropics. The documents provide comprehensive practical know-how on producing organic cotton and on designing projects with smallholder farmers. They draw on 3 years of research based on the Maikaal bioRe project in India, and integrate lessons learnt in other organic cotton projects in Asia and Africa.

The highlight of the extension tools is the Organic Cotton Crop Guide, a comprehensive reference manual for practitioners. Designed primarily for project organizers, extension workers and farmers, it covers all relevant aspects from soil preparation and variety selection over crop nutrition and pest management to the economic performance of organic cotton farming.
The Organic Cotton Training Manual complements the crop guide by summarizing the key messages, providing illustrated transparencies and suggesting didactic approaches for each topic. It aims on facilitating training activities for extension staff and farmers. The Soil Fertility Training Manual provides a curriculum and a set of commented transparencies for a one day session on soil fertility in organic cotton farming.
The Organic Cotton Project Guide supports organizers of organic cotton projects in designing and setting up projects, or in re-thinking them. It describes in detail the different steps involved in setting up an organic cotton project with smallholder farmers and provides key questions for each step.

All extension tools are available on the CD ‘Producing Organic Cotton: A Toolkit’ that also includes templates for farm record keeping, a video on organic agriculture in central India and photos for illustration of didactic material. The development of the tools was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and by WWF Switzerland.

Further information

Contacts

Lukas Kilcher
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL
FiBL, Ackerstrasse, CH-5070 Frick,
Phone: +41 (0)62 865-7262, Fax: +41 (0)62 865-7273

Frank Eyhorn, Post Graduate Studies on Developing Countries (NADEL)
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich
Phone: +41 (0)44 6324 682, Fax: +41 (0)44 6321 207
frank.eyhorn(at)nadel.ethz.ch

Order and Download

Organic Cotton Crop Guide
Producing Organic Cotton: A Toolkit (CD)

Further information on the research project and its results including free downloads: www.organiccotton.fibl.org

The documents and their Hindi versions are also available from the International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) in Bangalore, India (www.iccoa.org). A French version of the Organic Cotton Crop Guide adapted to African conditions is in preparation.

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