At OCA we continuously look to grow the impact of our work and expand the Farm Programme where it could make a difference. We believe there is huge potential for the organic cotton sector in Pakistan, where we have witnessed lots of positive energy and support from key industry partners in the country. Our objective is now to build partnerships with the right organisations on the ground to grow domestic organic cotton production and invest in the enabling environment required for a healthy and thriving organic sector.
In 2021, we partnered with agriculture specialist organisation CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International), based in Islamabad, to understand the national organic growers’ challenges and opportunities across the new and existing cotton growing regions.
The resulting OCA Pakistan Market Entry Study, comprising of over 100 pages details the status of the agriculture sector of Pakistan in general and of the cotton sector in particular, at the national or country level. Additionally, the study reviews the existing situation of organic agriculture and recent initiatives to produce organic cotton in Pakistan.
The ultimate conclusion from the study is that current conditions in Pakistan are encouraging for an organic cotton initiative lead by OCA. Other key findings point to the existing projects in Baluchistan as a good starting point to expand to virgin areas in conventional cotton growing provinces. Availability of quality non-GMO seed as well as bio fertiliser and bio pesticides fundamental to organic agriculture need to be addressed and the certification, traceability, and testing systems need development and investment. Securing brand linkage is vital to boost support and create additional organic farmers.
‘We are excited to begin our foray into a new territory in 2022 and sow the seeds for the future of organic cotton in Pakistan. The findings of the study provided by Cabi will inform our next steps as we seek to form vital and long-lasting partnerships with key operational farming organisations and government and agricultural agencies or bodies. I believe OCA can make a difference to organic farmers in Pakistan as we have done for nearly 100,000 farmers in India over the years’, commented Ruud Schute, Programme Director, OCA.
In 2022, OCA will take the first steps in adapting its Farm Programme for the specific Pakistan regional needs and lay the groundwork through national specialists in the field of agriculture and cotton trade. We expect to make further announcements later in the year, when OCA has a Pakistan Programme team in place, Implementing Partnerships formed and essential Contributor commitments.
To receive access to the OCA/CABI Pakistan Market Entry Study, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.