An investigation and an accessment of organic cotton production and processing in developing countries (VB)

Frida Persson, Lasse Kragh Andersen, Majken Looms, Michael Søgaard Jørgensen

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    This report investigates and assesses whether cotton production and processing is prossible in the two African countries, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. This is done through an intensive study of existing organic cotton projects in the two countries and a description of how the organic cotton production is done. Furthermore the standards of organic processing of textiles from two international certifyers, IFOAM and Skal, are described. The obstacles that might arise when following these regulations are discussed and a conclusion is made based on the found information.The major problems are assesed to be structural due to the fact that the change to organic production requires more knowledge on how the processing is done. More knowledge is needed because of the decrease in chemicals and the prohibition of pesticides and fertilizer which is demanded when certifying the cotton as organic. It might be difficult to teach the locals this knowledge since the educational level in Zimbabwe and Mozambique is at a low level. Another problem that might occur is fulfilling the concentration of heavy metals allowed from the certifying organizations.Generally an economic donor is needed to get a project started. Just as important is that the locals participate on all levels of the project, so they feel responsible for the project and are able to run it themselves when the donor withdraws from the project after some time.Our conclusion is that implementing organic cotton production and organic cotton processing in Zimbabwe and Mozambique is a difficult but not impossible task, but a challenging way of improving the environmental impacts of todays conventional cotton production. Completing the manufacturing of cotton in the developing countries will enhance the economy of the country and thus the living standards of the population.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages146
    Publication statusPublished - 1999

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