Recommendations to enhance the impact of sustainability standards on smallholder cotton farmers in Maharashtra

The study hypothesis is that farmers receive significant benefits on adopting sustainable practices/ adopting voluntary Standards, compared to their conventional counterparts, and collaboration/ alignment is possible in policies/ initiatives of the State and those of sustainability standards, to enable translating the positive impacts on the State’s social, economic and environmental landscape in general, and specifically on farmers and farming practices. The study therefore seeks to explore the benefits of adoption of voluntary sustainability Standards prevalent in cotton in Maharashtra, understand the gaps, enablers and barriers in expanding sustainable practices in cotton, and help chart a way forward for partnership approaches between voluntary and public standards/ institutions.