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Piyush Goyal Holds 3rd Interactive Meeting to Review Cotton Value Chain Initiatives

ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research - (CICR), Nagpur presented a comprehensive plan for increasing cotton productivity through farmer awareness programmes, HDPS, and global best farm practises.

Shivam Dwivedi
The time has come to brand Indian cotton and build consumer loyalty.
The time has come to brand Indian cotton and build consumer loyalty.

Introducing advanced technologies such as high-yielding cotton seeds and innovative agronomy such as the High-Density Planting System is vital to boost cotton productivity. Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, and Food and Public Distribution, met with the Textile Advisory Group (TAG) for the third time on November 7, 2022, at Vanijya Bhawan in New Delhi to review the progress of initiatives for the cotton value chain.

Darshana V. Jardosh, Minister of State for Textiles and Railways, Rachna Shah, Secretary Textiles, Suresh Kotak, Chairman, TAG, Senior Officials from related Ministries, and stakeholders from the cotton value chain were present. Goyal reviewed the actions taken following the last interactive meeting in New Delhi. ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research - (CICR), Nagpur presented a comprehensive plan for increasing cotton productivity through farmer awareness programmes, HDPS, and global best farm practises.

Goyal stresses that now is the time to brand Indian cotton and create consumer loyalty and pull for KASTURI branded products, which is a welcome step towards AtmaNirbhar Bharat. Goyal wished for the industry to be at the forefront of self-regulation by taking on the responsibility of branding and certifying Indian cotton KASTURI.

Furthermore, Goyal stated that the quality of Indian cotton fibre is critical and that the implementation of the cotton bales quality control order under the BIS act 2016 is essential for standardisation of cotton bales in terms of technical quality parameters and identification of cotton bale traceability for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Goyal praised the industry's and its designated body's efforts to improve the quality, traceability, and branding of KASTURI cotton. The government will contribute funds to match the industry contribution to the initiative. Goyal emphasised the importance of strengthening testing facilities to meet KASTURI standards, DNA testing, and traceability. He guaranteed that adequate modern testing facilities would be established through BIS and TRAs.

He emphasised that a supply of high-quality cotton seeds is critical for increasing cotton productivity and that this requires immediate action from relevant Ministries. On the mechanisation of picking through the use of hand-held kapas plucker machines developed by SIMA-CDRA to assist farmer producers, Goyal urged that the textile industry and industry associations work together to promote and popularise mechanisation.

The Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) will take on this project as a mission, with Cotton Corporation of India Ltd providing distribution support. Industry associations and leaders have agreed to fund 75,000 hand-held kapas plucker machines. Furthermore, FPOs may be actively involved in empowering cotton farmers.

Responding to the industry's demand for a change in the colour of fertiliser bags (which farmers reuse in cotton picking and storing) as one of the major causes of contamination in cotton, Shri Goyal stated that the Government of India has notified the 'One Nation One Fertilizer' scheme, which defines logo and pattern, to address this concern. The industry and stakeholders in the textile value chain expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the Minister's prompt and pragmatic approach to addressing their concerns through consultative mode.

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