The Tanzania Times
Eastern Africa News Network

Tanzania now working to replace India as global producer of organic cotton

As Tanzania strives to become the leading global supplier of organic cotton by 2030.

So far it is the only country in Africa that produces organic cotton.

A new organic cotton growers association has therefore been hatched among farmers producing the cash crop in the country.

The ‘Tanzania Organic Cotton Association (TOCA)’ envisions playing the role of a reliable platform which nurtures the organic cotton industry through facilitating excellence in agriculture and commerce.

Tanzania has a total of 30,000 certified organic cotton growers as of current data.

It is the only cotton growing country in Africa whose farmers are internationally certified to this effect, making Tanzania the only anticipated future supplier of ginnery.

Organic cotton farmers and ginners from Singida and Simiyu attended the inaugural launch for the new association in Dodoma, organized by GIZ Tanzania and Helvetas.

Dr Riyaz Haider the Director of BioSustain explained that the reason behind establishment of TOCA was to heighten the performance of both, fresh and long-standing organic cotton farmers and ginners.

On his part, the Director General of the Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB) Marco Mtunga, revealed that Tanzania was the fifth largest producer of organic cotton in the world with more than 30,000 cotton growers being internationally certified organic.

Mtunga pointed out that through practicing regenerative agriculture the farmers become less susceptible to weather extremes and pest attacks.

“Also by applying locally produced botanical pesticides significantly reduces the cost for inputs, leading to more productivity,” he added, assuring that the Tanzania Cotton Board will work closely with the new association.

“The association gives the country’s organic cotton industry a fresh impetus,” says Leonard Mtama, the coordinator for the Climate-Smart Organic Cotton Program.

The Project is being implemented by GIZ Tanzania and Helvetas with financial support from Laudes Foundation, benefitting more than 50,000 organic cotton growers in the country.

As per the Textile Exchange Organic Cotton Demand Insights Report 2020/21, the world-wide demand for organic cotton outweighs the production.

It is being predicted that the demand will escalate by at least 84 percent before 2030.

More than 36 global textile brands and retailers have vowed to only source sustainable cotton by 2025.

India, the world’s leading producer of organic cotton, suffers challenges because of its hybrid production combining the Genetic modification (GM) cotton farming technology.

Tanzania, on the contrary, prohibits the use of GMO and traditionally uses less agro chemicals than other countries.

Ranked by production, the top seven organic cotton-producing countries,

These seven countries together account for 95 percent of global production. Tanzania is the only candidate from Africa so fa.

  • India (50%),
  • China (12%),
  • Kyrgyzstan (12%),
  • Turkey (10%),
  • Tanzania (5%),
  • Tajikistan (4%),
  • The United States (3%).

RELATED: Organic Cotton Project Benefits Farmers in Central Tanzania.

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