Today's Paper

British Minister visits cotton fields

British Minister for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs Richard Benyon found the claims of Mark & Spencers, a UK garments giant, true when he visited the cotton fields in remote Nurjahanpalli village here on Thursday.

It is from this tiny village in Shayampet mandal that Mark & Spencers sources its cotton, produced using Better Management Practices (BMP) by nearly 10,000 farmers. The cotton is produced using less fertilizer and water, thus conserving the environment. It is certified by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) which enables the farmers sell the produce to Mark & Spencers.

Interacting with the farmers here, Mr. Benyon said, “Whenever we buy a shirt from Mark & Spencers, we will remember you and the good work you are doing. Thank you for that.”

The Minister went round the fields and interacted with the farmers for a while.

Mark & Spencers funds the World Wide Fund which in turn funds the NGOs across the globe. The local NGO, Modern Architects for Rural India (MARI), took the initiative here. The project, that was started in 2005 with just 42 farmers, has now grown to 10,000 farmers spread in an extent of 21,000 hectares in four mandals – Regonda, Geesukonda, Shayampet and Parvathagiri.

IT services Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah, BC Welfare Minister B. Saraiah, chief whip and local MLA G.V. Ramana Reddy and others accompanied Mr. Benyon and the British Deputy High Commissioner Richard Hyde.