As the second edition of Cotton Trailblazers, a global convention on organic cotton in India, started today in Nagpur, over 150 delegates from the government, the apparel industry, research institutions, civil society and farmer groups gathered to build a road map for organic cotton in India and establishing Maharashtra as a key hub for organic cotton.
India is the largest producer of cotton and accounts for 56 per cent of the world’s organic cotton. Maharashtra has been identified as a potential hotspot for organic cotton cultivation and a hub for the entire apparel industry, according to a press release from the C&A Foundation, which, in collaboration with Solidaridad Asia and Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA), is hosting the convention.
The stakeholders unanimously agreed that organic cotton is positioned to ‘take off’ in Maharashtra. The state was a pioneer in the organic transformation; yet today, only 11 percent of India’s total organic cotton supply comes from Maharashtra.
A revival in the state can benefit the farmers by reducing cultivation costs in the input phase and lead to a decrease the overall debt, as well as stimulate the soil’s natural balance, the release said.C&A Foundation and Solidaridad Asia have already incubated various local solutions that have been catalyst for the adoption of organic practises in the state, with an aim to reach 15,000 farmers.
The organic cotton programme was also complemented with additional efforts by Solidaridad Asia on addressing the water stress challenge in the region by promoting micro-irrigation and rainwater management solutions covering 30,000 farmers.
Switzerland-based C&A Foundation is a corporate foundation working to transform the fashion industry to make fashion a force for good and is closely linked to the global retailer C&A.Headquartered in Hong Kong, Solidaridad Asia is part of the Solidaridad Network, a global civil society organization that has been providing efficient, scalable and economically effective and innovative sustainability solutions in agriculture and mining sectors in collaboration with governments, businesses and community.
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