Fair Trade & Organic T Shirts
| See how your purchase of Fair Trade Organic Cotton makes a difference
A better price – cotton farmer Karshan Manji on the benefits of working with Agrocel and his plans for the future.
| Karshan Manji is one of four generations of his family living in Haripura, an area just a short distance (20 minutes) from Mandvi. He grew up in Bombay and moved to the area with his family when he was 15, so he has lived there for 35 years, barring three years when he worked as a labourer in the Gulf countries.
He farms with his brother and his late brother’s widow, Narmaben. In additional to jointly-owned land he has his own 15 acres.
“Agrocel began buying organic fair trade cotton from me over the last five or six years,” he said. “About six or seven years ago we had no market for our cotton and that was a problem, to sell our cotton. But now we are selling our cotton to Agrocel and they are exporting from India, so it is a very good thing for us.
Now we are getting a good price. “If we do hard work in our fields and if we get a better price then we are happy. I am farming organic cotton. Some nearby farmers are getting more production than me because they are using pesticides and chemical fertilisers. But I believe in organic farming so I am not using any even if I am getting a little bit less production.
I prefer not to use chemical fertilisers. These other farmers, they may have got more production but the money in their hands is probably the same, not more, because they have had to spend more on their fertilisers. “If you are doing chemical farming and spraying then you can also have health problems. We are generally much healthier than the others.
“I have had drip irrigation on my farm for nine years. I was the first farmer to have it in this area. I got it through Agrocel. “There are many things we are getting from Agrocel. As well as drip irrigation which they help with, we also learn about new techniques, new research and agricultural improvements.”
“Now I am 50 years old but I am doing very well in the field. From the good price for my cotton I am saving for the future and the development of our family. I am also wanting to repair my home, which I built about 12 years ago. It is a very simple home. In the rainy season sometimes water comes into my house, but I am saving some money so I will be able to repair my home. Photo: Shailan Parker
Our organic and fair trade t shirts are tailored by our fair trade producers in Mauritius using some of the finest organic fair trade cotton produced by in Agrocel in India, all of our fair trade t shirts benefit two unique producers groups.