Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University
India’s cotton production might reach 43 million bales (170 Kgs each) by 2030.
The Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, as part of Global Cotton Day celebration organized an informative virtual event on Indian cotton sector, today.
Productivity, quality and contamination issues occupied the center stage of discussion.
Indian cotton production is expected to be about 42-43 million bales (170 Kgs/bale) by the end of this decade, stated Mr. G. Chandrasekar, senior journalist who has been covering the Indian cotton sector for many decades. Indian consumption may reach 40 million bales and the demand may see increase, added Chandrasekar.
Stakeholders emphasized the importance of quality both in terms of contamination as well as adulteration. Awareness of contamination has been increasing at farm level and the issue at gin level needs addressing, stated Atul Ganatra, President of Cotton Association of India.
The event was graced by Mr. Piyush Goyal, Honorable Union Minister of Textiles, Government of India, who emphasized the importance of enhancing the yield and paying attention to quality. He highlighted the importance of research translation, “lab to farm,” and nudged the stakeholders to work on the “culture of quality.”
The minister encouraged the Indian textile sector to be a global player pointing out to the yield per hectare issue in India, which is at 457 Kg/hectare that is far behind the global average of 757 Kg/hectare.
While yield and quality issues are getting the right focus, there is a timely need to enhance the market for cotton both in terms of geographical outreach and products. In this regard, possibility of collaborations to enable cotton as a sustainable candidate in the technical textiles sector has to be given serious discussion.
An ongoing collaboration between Texas Tech University, USA and Aruppukkotai, India-based Jayalakshmi Textiles has resulted in cotton-based oil absorbent. Jayalakshmi Textiles has been a leading cotton spinner and its efforts to venture into technical textiles products is a positive direction towards diversification.