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Balangir Cotton Farming
April 30, 2022

A cotton field is a place full of hope. Its long rows of planted cotton trees are literally bursting with opportunity. Unfortunately, the future of cotton farming is not so hopeful. This almost barren cottonfield stood as a testament to the increasingly volatile conditions which cotton farmers face. 

 

The need for organic cotton has never been greater. In some districts of Odisha, the government is enacting legislation to require organic cotton farming and ban cotton pesticides. However, this puts a strain on the cotton farmers and puts their livelihoods in jeopardy. Organic cotton farming, while safer for the land, can only yield about 50% of the cotton that’s planted. This means the 



These cotton farmers are not craftspeople; they are farmers trying to make a living wage. Before they started growing cotton 10 years ago, they were using their land to grow grains. They saw the potential in the market to grow cotton instead, and took that opportunity. But now, with the land becoming increasingly infertile with years of spreading pesticides and threats of strict legistlation, the farmers will have to reconsider their trade again. 





© Emma Fritschel Art