Better Cotton Initiative
Agriculture, Cotton Farming
Outline India was commissioned to undertake a rapid assessment case study by Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) with Action for Food Production (AFPRO) as it’s Implementing Partner (IP), with the goal to assess the progress in phasing out of hazardous pesticides.
BCI carried out an intervention to phase out the use of hazardous pesticides for cotton farming, with the aid of implementing partners – AFPRO, Dhoraji, Gujarat. The key goal of the intervention was to gradually reduce the usage of monocrotophos, which is toxic and hazardous to the health of cotton farmers, as well as to the environment. The intervention involved training AFPRO officials, and thereafter farmers, collaborating with other organizations to spread awareness regarding the hazards, safety measures, as well as to bring about a behavioural change across farmers to understand and follow through Integrated Pest Management Practices (IPM).
The rapid assessment had been carried out by Outline India to understand the effectiveness of implementation by AFPRO, to gauge the progress in the gradual reduction of hazardous pesticides (specially monocrotophos) and, lastly, to understand the mindsets of the key stakeholders post the intervention. For the same purpose, qualitative tools (FGDs and IDIs) had been developed by the team of Outline India. 4 FGDs were also conducted for 27 farmers to gauge their perception with regard to pesticide usage. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with AFPRO officials to understand how they have aided the process of the intervention and to understand the difficulties in the process, field facilitators (AFPRO) were interviewed to analyze the issues in direct communication with the farmers, and what issues have cropped in the process. Interviews were also conducted for scientists from Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU), as the interventions have promoted the biocontrol, beuavaria bassiana, developed by them. Informal discussions were also carried out with Krishi Vigyan Kendra and Agro-input dealers, as they are the direct point of contact for farmers, thereby affecting their daily choices.
A desk review of the literature provided by BCI and AFPRO have guided the data points essential for this study. Additionally, a dataset on the use of monocrotophos for the year 2016-17 has been used for the quantitative analysis which has to be cross-checked for validation with the data in farmer’s record books.
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