The FiBL project Green Cotton/Seeding the Green Future of the Department of International Cooperation was presented with the SFIAR Award. At the award ceremony on 15 December 2021, Amritbir Riar, Monika Messmer and Tanay Joshi were honoured for their achievements in the project and their commitment across the entire organic cotton value chain in India.

FiBL cotton project honoured with research prize
Photo: FiBL. The Seeding the Green Future team evaluates promising cotton varieties

The FiBL project Green Cotton/Seeding the Green Future

The Swiss Forum for International Agricultural Research (SFIAR) offers an annual award for graduates and scientists from a Swiss institution active in agricultural research for development. At a digital award ceremony, Amritbir Riar, Monika Messmer, Tanay Joshi and their partners in India won the SFIAR Team Award for their project Green Cotton/Seeding the Green Future.

The Green Cotton/Seeding the Green Future project began in 2013 and works to close gaps in India’s organic cotton value chain. Local traders hardly offer GMO-free cotton seeds anymore, which endangers smallholder farmers’ income security and seed sovereignty. Therefore, the project aims to expand the supply of robust, genetically unmodified seed. Eight varieties are already being grown on an experimental basis.

“This award means a lot to us”

“We are building on the experience of the first phase of the introduction of participatory cotton breeding (Green Cotton) and initiating further participatory breeding programmes in India in order to be able to close the seed gap and secure the seed supply chain for organic cotton farmers”, explains Monika Messmer, project initiator and expert in plant breeding at FiBL.

The Green Cotton/Seeding the Green Future project began in 2013 and works to close gaps in India’s organic cotton value chain

Amritbir Riar from the Department of International Cooperation at FiBL and project leader is delighted about winning the SFIAR Team Award: “This award means a lot to us. The project directly supports smallholder farmers in India and strongly involves them in the research. The transdisciplinary approach along the entire organic cotton value chain makes the project not only unique but also so successful.”

Michaela Kuhn was also awarded the SFIAR prize for her Master’s thesis, “A Gendered Analysis of Small-Scale Cocoa Production in Uganda”, co-supervised by FiBL scientist Lina Tennhardt.

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