The Southern India Mills Association (SIMA) has submitted a proposal to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to increase cotton production in Tamil Nadu.

Ravi Sam, chairman of SIMA, said in a press release that the State accounts for one-third of textile business in the country and consume nearly 120 lakh bales (170 kg per bale) of cotton a year.

The Chief Minister announced a sustainable Cotton Cultivation Mission as soon as the DMK formed the government and allocated funds for it. The Association submitted a proposal to the State government to increase cotton production from five lakh bales to 25 lakh bales in five years. It suggested pilot projects with necessary funding support for cotton farmers to adopt the best practices and showcase it to the rest of the country.

There is a need to ensure adequate availability of quality cotton seeds that are capable of giving higher productivity and fibre quality that match international standards, more thrust for production of Extra Long Staple cotton, global-based agronomy practices, mechanised harvesting, and water conservation to reduce the cost of cultivation.

The Chief Minister “has assured to consider the master plan favourably and conduct meetings shortly in this regard,” he said in a press release.

Mr.Ravi Sam also said Tamilnadu is one of the best industrialised States not only in the country, but also across the globe in terms of compliance relating to labour environment and other sustainability measures. The State government should recognise a competent agency and come out with common code of conduct and reduce the cost of compliance certification for textile units. The efforts by the government and the industries to ensure compliance should be made available on public domain, he said.