The Ministry of Textiles marked World Cotton Day 2023 by hosting a conference centered on the theme of “Enhancing Quality & Productivity of Indian Cotton through Policy, Innovation, & Technology Upgradation.” This event was conducted in collaboration with the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and the EU-Resource Efficiency Initiative, an initiative by GIZ.
The conference held on the eve of World Cotton Day, highlighted best practices and sustainable farming methods throughout the cotton value chain, spanning from Farm to Fibre to Factory to Fashion to Foreign. Brainstorming sessions addressed crucial topics, including “Enhancing Sustainability & Circularity in the Cotton Value Chain” and “Cotton Mission for Enhancing Quality & Productivity.”
To ensure that the quality, variety, origin, and other vital parameters of cotton are transparent to both Indian and international buyers, CCI launched the “Bale Identification and Traceability System” (BITS) using Blockchain Technology. Each cotton bale now carries a QR code that allows easy tracking of its original source, processing factory, storage details, and associated cotton quality information, including timestamps.
Additionally, the Ministry of Textiles introduced the Kasturi Cotton program, a premium certified quality cotton with traceability. TEXPROCIL, in collaboration with CCI on behalf of the Ministry of Textiles, is overseeing the implementation of this program. All ginners in the country are empowered to produce Kasturi Cotton following quality protocols.
In conjunction with CCI, CAI, and CITI, the Ministry of Textiles unveiled the event brochure for the 81st Plenary meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), slated to take place in Mumbai from December 2nd to 5th, 2023. The theme for this event is “Cotton Value Chain: Local Innovations for Global Prosperity,” with over 400 delegates and observers expected to attend from more than 27 countries.
Ms Prajakta L Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, set the context and purpose of holding this event on this historical day of World Cotton Day. She highlighted India’s unique position as the only country with a complete cotton value chain and immense potential for increasing cotton production. She urged all stakeholders to collaborate to elevate the cotton textile industry to become a leading producer of quality textile products globally.
Ms. Shubha Thakur, Joint Secretary (Crops), Department of Agriculture and Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, stressed the urgency of boosting both cotton productivity and quality to
meet the growing demand from the industry and improve the livelihoods of cotton farmers across the country.
During her key note address, Ms. Rachna Shah, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, emphasized the need for the textile industry to address challenges in order to maintain its position as a global leader in cotton production. The conference outcomes are envisioned to pave the way for increased cotton production and productivity while ensuring sustainability in the cotton value chain.
The exhibition inaugurated by the Secretary (Textiles) featured technological innovations for scaling up cotton productivity, including HDPS and closer spacing. ICAR-CICR and ICAR- CIRCOT also showcased natural colored cotton fabric and products, along with exhibits from UAS Dharwad displaying colored cotton seeds, lint, fabric, garments, and more. Other exhibitors, including SIMA-CDRA, Bajaj Steel Industries, and Pradharshan Guru, Sambhavi Handloom Design presented the latest Ginning and Processing Technologies, Best Farm Practices, Sustainable Fashion Label made by Rural Artisans and the use of Remote Sensing and Satellite Imagery in agriculture.
Distinguished panelists, including Sh. K K Lalpuria, ED & CEO, Indocount; Prof. Justin Kuhn, RWTH; Ms. Dipanwati Ray, Fashion for Good; Ms. Gauri Sharma, Shahi Exports; Mr. Ganesh Kasekar, GOTS; Dr. Rachna Arora, EU-REI, presided over discussions on “Enhancing Sustainability & Circularity in the Cotton Value Chain.”
Another session, “Cotton Mission for Enhancing Quality & Productivity,” included participants like Prof. R B Singh, NAAS; Mr. M B Lal, ex-CMD CCI & ex-Advisor TMC; Mr. Lalit Kumar Gupta, CMD, CCI; Dr. Rajvir Rathi, VC, Federation of Seed Industry of India; Dr. K Selvaraju, Secretary- General, SIMA. Dr. Y G Prasad, Director, CICR, presided over the session focusing on Cotton Mission for Enhancing Quality & Productivity.
In her closing remarks, Ms Prajakta L Verma, Joint Secretary (Fibre) expressed that the Ministry of Textiles continues its commitment to fostering innovation, sustainability and growth within the Indian cotton sector, working collaboratively with other ministries especially Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, industry stakeholders and international partners.