Comparison Between Conventional and Organic Cotton Growing in Greece: Economics of Four Year Studies
Apr 16, 2019
Cotton is one of the world’s highest consumers of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. The extensive use of agrochemicals has substantially reduced the crop profitability and viability, giving rise to a multitude of problems related to crop production, organic matter reduction, soil erosion, environmental pollution, groundwater contamination, etc. On the world level there is a strong tendency to reduce the use of agrochemicals to minimize their impact on the environment and make cotton production sustainable. Organic cotton growing might be an alternative solution to these problems. The objective of this study was to aggregate scientific information about the potential and the economic feasibility of growing cotton organically in Greece, compared to conventional production. Field studies were conducted at the Cotton Research Centre of Palamas-Karditsa, for four years (1994-1997), using the cotton variety Zeta 2. Conventional and organic cotton were compared in terms of yield and earnings. The four year’s results show the financial viability of organically produced cotton in Greece, as the average yield and the gross margin for organic cotton exceeded that of conventional cotton by 9%, at standard market prices and had higher profitability if premium prices are taken into account.