New Delhi Monday, July 25, 2022: Shri T Rajkumar, Chairman, CITI thanked Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Textiles, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Smt. Darshana V. Jardosh, Minister of State for Textiles and representatives from Ministry of Textiles and agriculture for their consistent efforts through comprehensive stakeholders consultation for exploring strategies to strengthen cotton value chain, specially through improving cotton productivity and Brand India cotton.

During a three hour long meeting held on July 24, 2022 with all stakeholders, including industry champions and farmers group, besides ginners, spinners, exporters of apparel and made ups and seed producers, detailed discussions were held on enhancing cotton productivity, quality and branding of “Kasturi“ Cotton to benchmark Indian Cotton with the best in the world and ensure good returns to cotton farmers.

Shri T Rajkumar reiterated support of CITI and the textile industry in promotion of branding of Indian “ Kasturi” cotton and collaborative efforts to improve quality and productivity.

In the meeting it was highlighted that during the regime of Technology Mission on Cotton 1.0, India’s cotton yield increased from 304 kg/hectare in 1999-2000 to about 566 kg/hectare in 2013-14. However, after closing of TMC 1.0, India’s cotton yield is constantly declining and during 2021-22, India’s cotton yield was about 450 kg/hectares which is almost 1/4th of cotton yield its competitors such as China and Brazil who have cotton yield of above 1800 kg/hectare.

Highlighting this slowdown in cotton value chain, the Minister of Textiles urged the industry players to strengthen the cotton value chain in order to leverage the FTAs which India has recently signed as these FTAs are largely focussed on labour intensive sectors like textiles & apparel and are likely to increase India’s textile & apparel exports by at least 10% which will translate into extra demand of about 15% of cotton in future and hence it becomes critical for the cotton farmers to work towards improving the cotton productivity.

Shri T. Rajkumar applauded the concentrated efforts of Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Textiles for improving the cotton productivity and expressed hopes that Government will soon announce the Technology Mission on Cotton 2.0 in order to fulfil to demand-supply gap of Indian cotton.

The Hon’ble Ministers appreciated the efforts of CITI’s Cotton development arm CDRA efforts which resulted in improvement in cotton yields from 300 kgs/ hectare to over 800 kgs/ hectare in its project areas and called upon more such industry driven programmes for training of farmers on good practices.

Industry was of the view point that India lacks the testing and technology for improvement of cotton and appreciated the Minister’s call to identify all state of art technologies and testing facilities needed for ensuring cotton of global standards. Industry welcomed the Government’s move like setting-up corpus for drip irrigation, branding of Kasturi Cotton, improving quality of new seeds and working towards improving cotton productivity through Gene editing.

Shri T. Rajkumar committed industry’s support towards creating a corpus fund and also working cohesively with all the stake holders in cotton value chain for strengthening and repositioning the Indian cotton sector in the global market.