Latin America

Regional Contact Person





Alfonso Lizárraga
Director Regional América Latina


Brief overview

Latin America has many a long history of cotton production. The defining characteristic of Latin America is the diversity (varieties, ecosystems, strategies and markets). Countries with organic cotton production are Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru. There are also some initiatives to start organic cotton production in Columbia and Mexico. In total, there are 11 organic programs in Latin America with 0.3 % of the world´s total organic area, and 0.39 % of the world´s total of organic fiber production.

The majority of the cotton is rain fed with only the Peruvian coast using conventional irrigation (there is also some use of drip irrigation). All farms are small scale using different seeds varieties (short, medium, long and extra staple, also colored cotton).

Organic cotton production in Latin America links farmers with other farmers as well as with development programs. It also provides farmers with other business opportunities such as textile production cooperatives and the production of handicrafts.

The recent global market dynamics have led to a decline in conventional cotton production in many Latin American countries providing an important opportunity for new organic and sustainable cotton projects.


Key issues & Initiatives

Monitoring the production of organic cotton and sustainable systems The organic farmers' groups and their allies develop actions that are monitored continuously in order to have data on organic cotton production and the environment. It is also important to monitor the development of actions that impact in different ways in relation to organic farming are also monitored (government policies, development of transgenic crops, etc.). This is important for our annual reports on fiber and farm systems. It also supports market analysis and dynamics between stakeholders on markets.


Information and Dissemination Centre Our office in Lima, constantly sends information to various stakeholders in the chain value, with the aim of helping make better decisions and know what is happening in other countries and regions. The technical, market and stakeholders involved in organic cotton systems. This helps the horizontal exchange between the forces and market players.


Support for researchers Research and innovation is an important aspect of the development of organic cotton. Research have different levels, academics, farmers groups, and consulting firms are continuously supported to create products that help improve production, to properly define the elements of the organic system.


Program Highlights

2006 Regional Farm meeting in Lima

2007 Regional Farm meeting in Paraguay

2008 Regional Farm meeting in Brazil

2009 participated in Organic Cotton Biofach meeting in Brazil

2010 participated in Peru Moda