A visiting group of cotton growers from Pakistan and India recently joined leading Australian fashion and textile industry representatives in a tour of Narrabri’s cotton industry organised by Cotton Australia. Their tour was made possible through a partnership with the Australian Government and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), according to Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay. BCI is a global organisation working towards making Better Cotton a sustainable mainstream commodity. The Pakistani delegation has been touring farms, cotton gins, research facilities and cotton processing plants in northern New South Wales (NSW) and southern Queensland, according to a report from Cotton Australia.
“The partnership has paired our cotton industry’s skills and resources with funding by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), allowing BCI to train more than 50,000 Pakistani farmers to adopt better crop production and labour practices while improving the social and economic benefits that flow back to them. DFAT funded the BCI Pakistan training partnership via the Australian Government’s Business Partnerships Platform,” according to a report.
Participants toured Auscott’s Narrabri farm and gin before moving on to the Australian Cotton Research Institute (ACRI) in Narrabri, where they heard presentations by world-leading cotton scientists. Some tour participants were unaware of the industry’s sustainability achievements, such as a reduction in insecticide use of more than 90 per cent over the past 15 years and a water efficiency increase of more than 40 per cent since 2003.