Shri Piyush Goyal , Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Textiles, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution said that with collective efforts by entire cotton value chain, in the coming years, India will not only be Atmanirbhar in every sphere of cotton but will also emerge as a sole supplier of good quality cotton in the world. He said that several measures have been adopted by the Government of India to improve the quality and productivity of cotton in the country. India is working on suitable interventions for enhancing productivity in cotton, such as High Density Planting System (HDPS), Drip Irrigation, rain water harvesting, inter-cropping, promotion of best farm practices and mechanization of cotton harvesting for reducing the contamination of cotton and improvement in farm income.
Inaugurating an Interactive Webinar on Cotton organized by Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) coinciding with the Global Cotton Day and “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” and CITI- CDRA Golden Jubilee Celebrations on the theme “Moving Beyond the Conventional Paradigms” the Minister said that as we celebrate the World Cotton Day today, we celebrate a future which is assured to be sustainable, a value chain which enjoys a trade legacy unmatched by any other fibre, a cotton eco-system which will help channel development assistance for cotton for those who need it the most. Indian democracy wove its freedom from cotton and today stands committed to weave a prosperous cotton future for all, he added.
Shri Goyal said that Honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has set new benchmark of politics of service, Keeping in view the dream and commitment of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to make India Aatmnirbhar in every sphere, it is incumbent on all of us to march ahead and focus on the key areas like increasing the productivity of Indian cotton, Improving cotton cultivation practices, reducing import dependency and creating self-sufficiency of Extra Long Staple Cotton, Organic Cotton and Contaminant-Controlled cotton within our country.
The Minister said that the Government and the industry need to work together for the progressive development of the cotton value chain. He said that it is time to show that the target of US$ 44 billion for this year is easily achievable and we are eagerly looking for more daunting challenges like reaching US$ 350 bn market size, including US$ 100 bn exports by 2025-26.
Recalling the quote of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion, “I see God in every thread that I draw on the spinning wheel. The spinning wheel represents the hope of the masses”, Shri Goyal said that this is really a source of biggest strength, motivation and an impetus to cotton sector.
The minister further stated that farmers should be motivated through awareness meetings, timely advisories and transfer of technology from lab to field in the most effective manner by using natural methods and adoption of modern scientific farm practices. Domestic Textile Industry, instead of importing contaminant controlled cotton from other countries, should come together to strategize and implement more sustainable ways of cotton production in collaboration with the cotton research institutes and farmers.
He said that productivity enhancement and sustainable quality cotton are both inter-connected issues. Our focus should be on enhancing our productivity from the current level of around 450 Kg lint per hectare to at least 800-900 Kg lint per hectare by adopting the latest innovative technologies and global best farming practices.
The minister also mentioned that India occupies 1st place in the world in cotton acreage with 133.41 Lakh Hectares area under cotton cultivation i.e. around 42% of world area of 319.81 Lakh Hectares. Around 67% of India’s cotton is grown on rain-fed areas and 33% on irrigated area. India is the largest cotton producer in the world. India’s Cotton Production of 360 lakh bales (6.12 Million MT) accounts for around 25% of the total global cotton production. India is also the 2nd largest consumer of cotton in the world with estimated consumption of 303 lakh bales . It plays a major role in sustaining the livelihood of an estimated 6 Million cotton farmers and about 50 Million people engaged in related activity such as cotton processing & trade.
He said that Cotton is the very basis of the Indian Textile and Clothing Industry. Cotton-based textile products have almost 50% share in the total T&A products. He further said that it shows what Cotton means for the textile industry and our economy as a whole as a foreign exchange earner. More than 6.5 million cotton farmers are directly engaged in cotton cultivation and around 10.5 million workforces are engaged in the allied sectors.
Shri Goyal said that the government is committed to helping the textile industry in all the possible ways to achieve a US$ 350 bn market size by 2025-26, with US$ 100 bn exports. MITRA Scheme, National Technical Textile Mission, Removing Anti-Dumping Duties Mission, Removing Anti-Dumping Duties on MMF Raw Materials, ROSCTL for Garments & Made-ups, RODTEP for all Textile Products, PLI Scheme for MMF Fabrics, MMF Garments and Technical Textiles are some of the steps taken by the govt. to strengthen textile sector.
Congratulating CITI CDRA on the Golden Jubilee of their progressive efforts for the development of cotton farmers and improvement in productivity, Shri Goyal said that CITI CDRA’s activities are essentially meant to improve yield and production of cotton, creating awareness among the cotton growers from the project areas about the latest production, plant protection and Nutrient Management Technologies. They are also equipping the farmers with these technologies for sustaining cotton production and improving the economic status of the farmers who are the weakest link in the cotton value chain, he added.
Shri Goyal expressed hope that this Webinar will open up new dimensions, references, ideas and new talking points for the textile industry players to move forward in the right direction and achieve new milestones in the coming days.