Cambodian Organic cotton project

I’m off to Cambodia again in November to see if we can move the organic cotton project on a bit – unfortunately I’ve just spent the best part of a year being led up a garden path by someone who shall remain nameless… he knows who he is… a lot of time has been wasted, and when you are dealing with very poor people, time is valuable!

So I think it’s back to where I left off, working on setting up a small community based project.  I think I can get the seeds, the land too shouldnt be a big problem, the expertise is at hand, now the next stage is fiding someone who can process the stuff – no point in growing it if we can’t sell it.

I’m considerably happier about the idea of setting this up on a small scale again, it allows the project to be much more personal, and to have a real community level impact.  Hopefully too it should be replicateable and scalable – in other words there should be some sustainability built in, something which is far from guaranteed when one works on a larger/commercial scale.

I am encouraged, although to be honest still annoyed at having wasted so much time on someone elses’ ego trip.

More as it develops… and yes I am looking for people who can process cotton on a small scale (or any scale) in Cambodia, so if you can help me in any way, please let me know!


15 thoughts on “Cambodian Organic cotton project

  1. According to the things I was learning recently in Kazakhstan, cotton is a fairly bad crop for the environment. It takes loads of water and is bad for the ground.

  2. do your research boy! that’s the point of organic cotton – its a crop that has positive benefits for the environment – yes all cotton cultivation takes water, but organic cotton cultivation takes a lot less, and instead of destroying the soil structure as conventional production does, it improves it, allowing the soil to hold water better – meaning you lose less, and the need for irrigation is decreased.

    You obviously havent heard me banging on about organic cotton enough – allow me to send you a long and intese email on the subject…

  3. Sadly my email is broken at the moment (dangers of running your own mail server and forgetting to renew your domain name).

    Feel free to rant at me in another fashion (or to another email address), or perhaps you could invite me and the wife round for a rant?

  4. darn email eh! that’ll teach you for being clever. Anyhow, you and mrs ernetikos are very welcome to come nad be ranted at anytime! And perhaps enjoy some scenery at the same time.

    On the other hand I happen to be heading towards London on my way to Cambodia in the first week of November – you arent anywhere near Heathrow these days are you… you know my email, and it does work!

  5. Dear Simon,

    I have just looked up the interne and came across your site relating to Cotton in Cambodia. As i missionary I am now involved in projects in Cambodia and whilst in a village we have adopted my collegue noticed cotton trees growing wild on the land we have for our Church. We would like to do some selfsustainable industries and wondered if you could help me with any information you have as to whether it is a viable product to look into. I will be meeting with my group this evening and will let them know I have contacted you and await your reply.

    We have been told the govt will give 25hect of land for 99 year lease and will be looking into this.

    1. Hi, I am interested in knowing sustainable organic cotton farming in Cambodia, if you have any progress, please advise.

  6. You should check on lotus flower fabric ( Lotus flower fibers are extracted from the stems of the giant lotus from Cambodia. It is then weaved to give an exclusive fabric specially breathable.

  7. I’m very interested in sourcing organic cotton from Cambodia. I really want to use organic fabrics in my designs. I already use Cambodian hand woven silk and prefer to supprt Cambodian textiles. Please let me know if you get anywhere with this. Are you based in Phnom Penh when you are in Cambodia? I’m there quite a few ties a year. I love it. Cheers Helena

  8. My friend is looking at NGOs or individuals who can provide a link up to local Cambodian farmers who are willing to be trained in growing organic cotton. She has ready investor who is willing to fund and invest in capacity building for the poorer community to empower them through farming organic cotton. Do you have the experiences or contacts we can discuss this further? Thanks!

    1. Hello, my friend. I am really interested in growing cotton. Now I have land area (10 hectare at my region and I want to grow cotton but don’t have enough finance for the process. Moreover, if any of you know about the cotton market in Cambodia, please kindly share with me. I am willing to do it. I was born in a farmer family. We grow rice at our area. Feel free to reach me any contact. +855 81850700 or email

  9. It is now dec 2012 and was wondering how the project is going.I am a missionary in cambodia looking for fair trade cotton to purchase or the possibility of setting up our own farm

  10. Any info on how to source Organic cotton in Cambodia would be great! I am working for Carpets for Communities, a social enterprise which makes carpets our of recycled T-shirt materials ( We are looking into making the switch to organic cotton. However, I have not been able to find any in Cambodia.


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