The background of Ugandan organic cotton
- March 4, 2021Report
We received the report from Ms. Miyashita who owns a Japanese culinary restaurant in the capital city, Kampala. Her report covers both the shipping notification of new cotton and the previous interview with a field manager Peter Maganda in GULU AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, a.k.a. GADC.
-The background of Ugandan organic cotton-
“GADC based on Guru shortly after the declaration of the end of civil war when citizens began to return from Internally Displaced Person camps to the previous village. At that moment, every farmland had not been used for over 20 years. Thus, this means the farmland had become uncultivated land. Additionally, farmers had lost farming skills and experiences completely due to their staying at the refugee camp for a long time. In other words, GADC had to offer various pieces of training to them.
However, this situation somehow brought about a positive outcome considering guiding organic farming. We assume that this background led to the success of avoiding GMO*¹ contamination of seeds until now. Currently, GADC took an initiative at two refugee settlements.
Genetically modified organism*¹
Uganda is second only to Turkey as one of the highest host countries accepting refugees in the world. The majority of refugees evacuated from South Sudan, the others evacuated from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is presumable that the Ugandan government learned a lesson from their mistakes of providing “camp.” It is natural that they now provide “settlement” instead of “camp” in order for refugees to rebuild their lifestyle and be independent. A good example of this is the Ugandan government’s recent launch of the policy that embraces refugees as members of their community in a long run. More specifically, refugees would be able to acquire the land to some extent if they finished the official registration. The practical advantage of this policy is to facilitate cash crop farming. Due to this policy, newcomers could use this given land to grow cotton and ship it efficiently.
Refugees who evacuated from outside Uganda went through the audit for Global Organic Textile Standard, while undergoing the inspection by Control Union. They mentioned that they have no problem with launching the producing district from uncultivated land due to their previous experience.”
-The shipping announcement of the crop from 2020 to 2021-
Unfortunately, between 2020 and 2021, it has been challenging for us to purchase crops as we planned because of the heavy rain for the long term. The good news is we were able to obtain the minimum amount of crop we required. It owes to Ms. Miyashita’s negotiation. In light of the Xinjiang cotton backlash, it has become difficult to purchase every single organic cotton around the world. Nevertheless, we are privileged to reach out to Ugandan organic cotton. Without Ms. Miyashita’s support, Taishoboseki would not have accessed it. Taishoboseki appreciates our supporters’ generous help from the bottom of our hearts.
Sales manager Daisuke Asada