Cotton is mostly grown in mono-culture and is a very pesticide-intensive crop. These pests often develop resistance to pesticides that are used on a continuous basis. Increasing pest increases usage of pesticide usage and hence increases cost of cultivation. To tackle all these problems, there are some methods like Integrated Pest Management and Integrated Nutrient Management to be followed. Deshpande Foundation team educates farmers on best crop cultivation practices (Integrated pest management, Integrated Nutrient management) along with water management techniques.
Our Foundation initiated BCI program in 2013 with 3000 farmers. This year we have covered 92,500 farmers to work with our program.
Deshpande Foundation employees are always motivated to work at grass root level by making farmers aware of the 7 principles of BCI.
Better Cotton Initiative's 7 principles are:
BCI exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the sector’s future. BCI connects people and organizations across the cotton sector, from field to store, to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton producing areas. BCI farmers receive training on how to use water efficiently, care for the health of the soil and natural habitats, minimizing the impact of harmful crop protection practices, preserve fiber quality and apply decent work principles. BCI also promotes the use of better irrigation practices with farmers, as well as reducing the use of fertilizers.
Deshpande Foundation is integrating cotton farmers locally to give them access to trainings on scientific cultivation practices for quality crop, crop protection, use of environment friendly pesticides, water and natural habitat conservation methods which are given under BCI principles.