Victory for Organic Cotton Farmers as OCA Launches New Program

OCA introduces a pioneering “Organic Cotton Training Curriculum for Pakistan,” a publicly accessible, standardized web-based program in English and Urdu.

The Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) has launched a groundbreaking new initiative. It’s aimed at providing comprehensive guidance on organic agronomic practices in Pakistan. Accessible to the public, it’s a standardized program designed for training agricultural practitioners in the region. This web-based course, offered in both English and Urdu, comprises 12 modules accompanied by an activity guide that complements existing training methods.

The modules cover a range of topics critical to organic cotton farming. These include farm extensions, an introduction to organic agriculture, and insights into different cotton species. The curriculum delves into land preparation, field management, soil fertility, and crop nutrition. It also incites pest and water management, crop diversification, and best practices for both harvest and post-harvest activities.

Empowering Farmers Through Comprehensive Training

Farmers enrolled in the program gain valuable knowledge on business planning strategies, certification processes, and effective management of the crop calendar throughout various stages of the cotton season. This holistic approach is aimed at equipping farmers with the skills necessary for successful and sustainable organic cotton cultivation.

Importantly, this curriculum is an adapted version of the material previously launched by the OCA for India in 2022. Developed in collaboration with the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International and with the active involvement of Pakistan’s Ministry for Food Security, the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, Laudes Foundation, and WWF-Pakistan, the training initiative underscores a collaborative effort to enhance organic farming practices.

OCA’s Strategic Initiative Propels Organic Cotton Production

The OCA believes that the launch of this curriculum is particularly timely for Pakistan’s cotton sector, as the country emerges as a significant producer of organic cotton on the global stage. The initiative, initiated in 2022 in response to devastating floods that impacted over one million hectares of agricultural land, has already made strides in its first year. Over 1,200 farmers have been onboarded through the Farm Programme. It focuses on building capacity, providing access to non-genetically modified seeds and bio-pesticides, and offering financial incentives.

Hafiz Muhammad Bux, Manager of WWF-Pakistan, acknowledged the pivotal role of training and guidance in capacity building and motivation. He praised OCA’s efforts in creating a conducive environment for organic cotton cultivation in Pakistan. He highlighted the significance of developing a team of professionals with hands-on knowledge to guide farmers effectively.

OCA’s Training Curriculum for Pakistan marks a significant step forward in promoting sustainable and organic cotton cultivation. It aligns with the organization’s dedication to empowering farmers and fostering positive change in the agricultural landscape.

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