Indian cotton has been the growth driver for the Indian textile industry, which is primarily focused on cotton, and textile exports currently account for 80 per cent of textile exports. India became the world’s largest cotton producer in 2014-15 and continues to be the world’s leading producer of cotton by accounting for 37 per cent of cotton region. India produces 330 to 400 lakh bales and consumes 300 to 320 lakh cotton bales per year thus becoming a net cotton exporter. The Technology Mission on Cotton and BT cotton technology helped the country to become the world leader in cotton textile exports. However, Indian cotton quality has been far below the standard especially in terms of trash content, contamination, etc., that stalled the value addition and also affected the revenue of the cotton farmers.
Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), established in the year 1974, started its Minimum Support Price operation during the year 1985 and is greatly helping the cotton farmers and the cotton textile industry that has been functioning under the Ministry of Textiles. The industry has been pleading the Ministry of Textiles to standardize and brand Indian cotton.
In a press release issued, Mr. Ashwin Chadran, Chairman, The Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) has stated that CCI started enforcing the fair average quality norms from the cotton season 2018-19 and was successful in its venture. He has stated that at a function held at Mumbai, the CCI has launched its first Indian brand “HIRA” and is planning to market the same shortly. Mr. Ashwin has appreciated the Hon’ble Union Minister of Textiles, Smt Smriti Zubin Irani and Chairman-cum-Managing Director of CCI, Dr P. Alli Rani for the historical initiative taken by CCI. He has stated that the Ministry is also planning to launch a scheme “Nirmal Cotton Mission” with CCI as a nodal agent that would go a long way to make Indian cotton to become the best quality cotton in the world and would enable the Indian cotton textiles & clothing manufacturers to produce all high value added items using home grown cotton.
SIMA Chairman called on the Honorable Prime Minister to launch the Cotton Development Mission in a revised format to increase productivity by just around 460 to 500 kg per hectare compared to 1500 to 2200 kg per hectare achieved by more than 20 countries around the world. He said it would be necessary to follow global best practices and acquire appropriate technology to achieve the mission of doubling farmers ‘ income and making India the true global textile clothier.