1. Agriculture World

India to Cover 5 More African Countries in Second Phase of Cotton Technical Assistance Programme

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said that India will cover 5 more African nations in the 2nd phase of its cotton technical assistance programme (TAP) for the region. It must be noted that India implemented a technical assistance programme for cotton in 6 African countries, namely Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad, Uganda and Malawi from 2012 to 2018.

An official statement said, "In the 5-year long second phase, the programme will scale up in size & coverage & will be introduced in 5 additional nations, namely Zambia, Mali, Ghana, Togo and Tanzania. The Cotton TAP programme will now cover 11 African nations including the C4 (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali)”.

Union Textiles Minister at the opening session of World Cotton Day in Geneva said that India remains committed to build on its long-lasting development partnership with Africa, particularly in the field of cotton.

Irani said India, as one of the world's largest producers and consumers of cotton, supports the World Cotton Day as an opportunity to recognise the importance of cotton as a global commodity & more importantly, as a source of income for millions of small and marginal farmers in developing nations.

cotton crop

The minister further said India is also engaging meaningfully in offering assistance to reinforce both the agriculture & textile part of the cotton value chain in Africa through training & capacity-building of scientists, farmers, government officials & industry representatives and also through the creation of cotton-related infrastructure.

She added that Mahatma Gandhi has been selected as the icon for the World Cotton Day & to mark the celebration of the 1st World Cotton Day, India will present a replica of Gandhi ji’s Charkha to the WTO.

Irani also told that cotton farming as well as domestic cotton textile industry continues to be main pillars of India's economy.

She added that as a country of around 8 million small & marginal cotton farmers, India is responsive to the challenges faced by the cotton sector in developing nations and New Delhi has been a proponent for the removal of asymmetries & imbalances in the WTO agreements that lead to a distortion of international cotton markets.

Textile minister also expressed hope that the World Cotton Day will help exhibit innovative initiatives in the cotton eco-system & channel more development support for cotton.

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