Textile sector stakeholders should work together to improve the quality and productivity of cotton in the country so that yield and profit margins improve for the farmers even as the prices remain competitive, said Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles Piyush Goyal.
Speaking at a virtual conference on “Cotton: Moving Beyond the Conventional Paradigms”, organised on Thursday by the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI), the Minister said cotton brings vibrancy, value and variety to textile production. It is sustainable for the ecology and economy. The Indian cotton sector supports 65 lakh farmers and lakhs of people in the allied sectors. The government has taken several steps in the recent months for the textile and apparel sector. India is now a net exporter of cotton. But, “We have to make rapid strides to improve quality and productivity (of cotton),” he said.
The Kasturi Cotton brand has started getting global recognition. The world average yield is 757 kg per hectare and India should look at 800 kg per hectare. The trash content in Indian cotton is also 1.5 % to 3 % whereas trash content in the imported cotton is less than 1 %. So, the quality and productivity improvement in cotton requires focus so that cotton prices remain reasonable and competitive and farmers also benefit. The industry should work together to implement sustainable ways in cotton farming. Organic cotton has huge potential and “We should look for global dominance in this,” he said.
The webinar was organised to coincide with the Global Cotton Day, Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and CITI CDRA Golden Jubilee celebrations.