Climate-resilient organic cotton stages a comeback

On the outskirts of Raichur, once known as Karnatakas cotton city, Ramesh Rangappa proudly shows off his recently planted acre of organic cotton. Its rain-fed and we havent added any chemical fertiliser, he says. Although there hasnt been any rain in recent times, the cotton is coming along nicely.

Climate change has of late caused shifts in rainfall patterns in Karnataka, which causes problems for farmers who rely on the monsoon to water their crops. Natural drought resistance is one of the main advantages of organic cotton that is prompting some farmers in the region to make the switch. But the transition back to organic cotton has been slow since the majority of farmers have been using the genetically modified Bt cotton for the past many years and need retraining in organic farming methods.