Meet Lakshmi Kotnaka, a talented cotton farmer and an influential board member of the Pragathi Cooperative, to which her cotton farm is also affiliated. The India-based cooperative produces organic cotton and has an emphasis on biodiversity conservation as well as tapping into emerging green markets. Together with her husband, Sampath Rao, Lakshmi owns almost 3 acres of land for growing cotton.
Improving air quality on farms and in homes
Lakshmi’s desire to produce quality Fairtrade and organic cotton is evident, as the skilled farmer dedicates her time to ensuring her practices are sustainable, on and off the farm.
In India, air pollution is a huge problem caused by cooking with fuels such as wood, animal dung, coal or kerosene. Burning these types of fuels in open fires or traditional stoves leads to an estimated 3.8 million deaths annually according to the World Health Organization, and contributes to various health, socio-economic, and environmental problems.
Using funds from the Fairtrade Premium, Lakshmi and her family jumped at the chance to receive a smokeless stove. With a smokeless stove, Lakshmi is playing her part in reducing carbon emissions across the globe, while improving the air quality in her own home.
Learn more about how Fairtrade farmers and brands are encouraging sustainable practices within the cotton industry.