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At Jackpot we work closely together with Chetna Organic in india - an association of 10,000 farmers who grow organic cotton on a smaller scale. So far we have been able to support the farmers and their families with education, training, infra-structure, healthcare, a rice mill and storage facilities. All with the money raised from the sale of the Jackpot donation t-shirts made of Chetna Organic cotton.
 
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Even as Bt cotton invaded Indian fields in the past few years, some farmer groups kept pushing for organic cotton. In 2009-10, production in India propelled world organic cotton production to an all-time high of 241,697 tonnes. But soon, many farmers realised that organic farming takes years of sustained efforts to get full benefits. With no support from government, that favours Bt cotton, many farmers are reverting to chemical farming.

Aparna Pallavi reports from the cotton belt of Maharasthra and Madhya Pradesh, and M Suchitra from Andhra Pradesh. Jyotika Sood writes about international non-profits that are venturing into alternative methods of sustainable cotton production.
 
 
Read full report featuring stories covering Chetna Organic farmers and interviews with Chetna Organic staff
 

KOLKATA: The demand for organic clothing made from non-allergic, eco-friendly and durable organic cotton for children, is on the rise in the country with people becoming more aware on health and environmental issues, an industry expert has said.
"People now have the exposure... They now understand that cotton clothes alone do not suffice for environment friendly and safe clothing," said Deepak Agarwal, CEO of Gron Stockholm, a key organic kidswear brand sold in the country.
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MUMBAI: Cotton supplies in local spot markets from the new crop in India, the world's second-largest producer of the fibre, have fallen 10 per cent in the current season that began in October, the Cotton Corp of India said.
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GUNTUR: The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) is resorting to arm-twisting tactics to purchase produce from farmers . Farmers in all the cotton-growing districts are forced to wait for the middlemen to lift their stocks as the CCI is said to be deliberately refusing to intervene.
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HUBLI: To encourage farmers to switch over to organic farming, Institute of Organic Farming of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad (UAS) has developed organic production technologies for major crops.
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As part of her research fellowship, Isabelle Ducas, a Quebec based french journalist, covered Chetna Organic's activities earlier this year.  Among the many stories published in a variety of french newpapers and magazines, was the story of Archana- a six year old daughter of an organic cotton farmer working through Chetna Organic in Karimnagar District of Andhra Pradesh.  The story features a day in the life of a girl whose parents grow organic cotton, the same cotton used to make garments worn by children in Quebec.

   

 

Oct 16, 2012: In a show of strength of people's initiative, the entire civil society came together to organize the People's biodiversity Festival in Hyderabad. Organised as a parallel event to counter the claims and proposals at the state sponsored UN Convention on Biodiversity  - Conference of Parties (CBD- COP 11), the festival saw a confluence of various NGOs, Civil society organisations, and activists working on a range of issues.

Chetna Organic, as a member of the organising committee, was one of the key hosts providing logistical and administrative support to the participants at the festival.

Here are a few media reports and images from the Festival:

People’s biodiversity festival rejects IPR regime  (The Hindu Businessline)

Visitors throng Biodiversity Festival at Nampally (The New Indian Express)

‘Bio-diversity meet a farce’: Medha Patkar (Times of India)

A people’s festival to protest CBD conference (Down to Earth)

People's Biodiversity Festival begins with a bang (Meri News)

People’s Biodiversity Festival: ‘Unity for Diversity’ (People forest rights Blog)

Press release

Manifesto

 

Images from the People's Biodiversity Festival (Slide Shows)

Day1                                                                                       Day 2                                                                                   Day 3 & 4

           

DELHI: Planting genetically modified (GM) crops should reduce the use of chemical pesticides, right? A study of 16 years of growing GM cotton, soyabean and corn in the US contradicts this. It shows that herbicide use on such crops has grown by 239 million kilograms between 1996 (when GM crops were first introduced in US by Monsanto) and 2011. Insecticide usage has declined on Bt crops by 56 million kilograms in the same period.
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