Commerce Minister urges private sector to help boost cotton production in India

Stressing the need to adopt global best standards in cotton productivity, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal  called for the contribution of the private sector in promoting research in productivity, farmers’ education as well as branding of Indian cotton.

Speaking at an interactive meeting with stakeholders of the cotton textile value chain held at Vanijya Bhawan, New Delhi, Goyal who also holds the portfolio of the Ministry of Textiles, said, “It is time for India to adopt world standards in cotton productivity. All stakeholders must share best practices to boost cotton productivity in India to boost farmer incomes. The private sector must contribute to boost research in productivity, farmers education as well as branding to which Government would provide matching support.”

Asserting an integrated approach, Goyal said that the private sector has to act in a mission mode to strengthen the cotton value chain. “We need to brand our own cotton which is good quality by an equal contribution from Industry. Action on reducing contamination issues like coloured HDPE.

The meeting was also attended by Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State for Textiles and Railways Darshana V Jardosh.

Goyal said that cotton works like a bridge between agriculture and textile sector. Cotton-based products have a significant share of total textiles and apparel products both at the domestic and international levels. With market access opening through FTAs, it is imperative to get our act together to enhance both productivity and quality.

He also said that the Centre is working on the ‘5F’ vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — ‘Farm to Fibre; Fibre to Factory; Factory to Fashion; Fashion to Foreign’.

The Minister said agreements for duty-free access to textiles with Australia and UAE have given a new impetus to the trade and similar agreements with the EU, UK and Canada are being negotiated.

Speaking at the meeting, Narendra Singh Tomar said that the growth of cotton production and productivity is vital to employment growth in the country. Tomar said that high-density farming and micro-irrigation are key to boosting cotton productivity in large parts of the nation.

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