First Sustainable Cotton in Haiti Starting to Flower

Cotton, Haiti, TGD Projects

About three months ago, with the support of Timberland, we started field trials to test possible varieties of cotton for sustainable cotton production in Haiti. Three months in, our first varieties are starting to flower: a small, but important step as we work on reintroducing sustainable cotton to Haiti!

The earliest (and strongest) varieties for this moment seem to be several ones which we acquired from India. Even though we are still at an early stage it is encouraging to see these plants do so well: at least some varieties may have potential!

First Cotton Flowering in Haiti, Haiti Sustainable cotton, timberland, sfa, smallholder farming, the growing dutchman, chris kaput -3

That said, there is of course still a long way to go: cotton is known to be a crop that is very sensitive to pests and it remains to be seen how our varieties (that are grown sustainably without pesticides) will hold up once we get closer to harvesting time.

One of the things we are also testing is the difference in performance between rain-fed vs irrigated cotton. As expected – cotton is a ‘thirsty’ crop – the differences are quite substantial:

First Cotton Flowering in Haiti, Haiti Sustainable cotton, timberland, sfa, smallholder farming, the growing dutchman, chris kaput -1

The irrigated cotton can be seen on the right, the rain-fed on the left. One note should be made here, which is that the rain-fed cotton was also planted slightly later than the irrigated cotton, which explains at least some of the difference in performance.

Regardless, given that it’s been more than 30 years since cotton was last grown in Haiti every small victory should be celebrated. Seeing our first varieties flower is at least one reason to do so!

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I am Chris, a certified permaculture designer, sustainable development professional and DIYer. Join my mission to go beyond sustainable, one project at a time.

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