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The Impact of Organic Cotton Agriculture on the Wellbeing of bioRe Farmers in Rural Tanzania

by Romina Jermann

Abstract

The present study was conducted on the ground in the Meatu District of Shinyanga region, Tanzania within the framework of the organic cotton trading company bioRe Tanzania between March and May 2010. The main goal of the impact assessment was to find out how organic cotton farming influences wellbeing of bioRe Tanzania’s contract farmers (hereafter bioRe farmers). bioRe Tanzania buys organic cotton from their contract farmers with a 15 percent price premium and a purchase guarantee of five years and trains the farmers in organic management practices. As no qualitative data on bioRe farmers existed before, it was not possible to conduct a before-after comparison. In the study, bioRe farmers were thus encouraged to share their experiences and to recall major changes in their wellbeing over the last then years. In order to control important factors, conventional farmers were also interviewed.

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