Civil war till 2006. Today 10,000 people live off organic cotton grown for Cotonea.
Cotonea organic cotton is grown in Kyrgyzstan and Uganda under certified organic conditions. Monocultures are avoided and a rotation of crops maintained. In this way the soil isn´t leached of its nutrients, in fact the soil becomes more fertile through the organic cultivation. Cotonea abstains from the use of chemical treatment of the fields (fertiliser or pesticides). The cotton is picked by hand to achieve a higher quality. Neither poisonous cotton defoliators nor machine harvesting are used.
In the northwest of Uganda on the fields which have lain vacant for decades due to the war, organic cotton has been cultivated again recently. While relief organisations like the GTZ retracted their support for the project for political reasons, Cotonea is helping as a key partner to give people a new perspective. The land is fertile and naturally watered by rain. Near the equator several yields can be achieved during the year. Cotton serves to make money. The farmers mainly use this money for healthcare and the education of their children.
Experienced farmers achieve high returns. The many young farmers who were not able to learn about agriculture must first be trained. While every year in conventional cotton farming in Africa innumerable people die of pesticide poisoning, the organic cultivation of cotton allows for the fruitfulness of the soil and the purity of the important groundwater to be sustained by natural means. The local project society knows many natural ways to perform pest control, from complementary crops and the use of water fermented with the aid of leaves to the breeding of beneficial insects like wasps. What is increasing is that the farmers are provided with natural seeds and the seed varieties are specifically being maintained and further developed. Every single field is carefully monitored and all measures taken end up in a report. The observance of all ecological guidelines is monitored by an independent certification body.