The Hon’ble Union Minister of Textiles and Woman and Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani launched the first-ever Indian Cotton Brand and Logo “Kasturi” on the 2nd World Cotton Day being celebrated world-over. The Hon’ble Minister said, “India’s premium Cotton would now be termed as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton trade and will be famous for its Whiteness, Brightness, Softness, Purity, Luster, Uniqueness and Indianness”. She was speaking at the Webinar jointly organised by Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI), The Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) and The Cotton Corporation of India Ltd (CCI), along with Ministry of Textiles on the theme of “NEW-LOOK COTTON”.
The Hon’ble Minister said, “Cotton is one of the principal commercial crops of India and it provides livelihood to about 6.00 million cotton farmers. India is the 2nd largest cotton producer and the largest consumer of cotton in the world. India produces about 6.00 Million tons of cotton every year which is about 23% of the world cotton. India produces about 51% of the total organic cotton production of the world, which demonstrates India’s effort towards sustainability”. Hence, she pointed out that enhanced production and better utilisation of this cotton especially, Extra Long Staple (ELS) can enhance our share in the world cotton trade.
Shri T. Rajkumar, CITI Chairman welcomed the launch of National Brand for Cotton “Kasturi” – the first Indian cotton brand, which he said, “will help Indian textile manufacturers and exporters to draw better price realisation on their cotton products in the international markets”. He also said, “Indian exporters at present do not get better prices on the cotton products due to poor quality of cotton fibre and contaminated cotton”. Hence, he stated that launching of the Indian cotton brand by Hon’ble Minister will enable the Indian cotton value chain to improve the cotton quality and emerge as one of the best in the world and facilitate in producing high value-added products out of the same to sustain the growth. He also pointed out that our country accounts for 38% of the world area under cotton and the ongoing measures and various initiatives taken by the Government to improve productivity, quality and branding of Indian cotton and its products across the value chain will have a bright future and make Indian cotton globally competitive.
CITI Chairman opined that the World Cotton Day is more relevant for India as there has been a 25% to 30% drop in cotton consumption across the global as well as in India due to Covid-19 pandemic. He also stated that excess cotton stock to the tune of three to four times of normal stock level would be a challenge for India and our Ministry is already taking necessary steps to boost the exports of all products across the value chain apart from increasing the consumption domestically. For example, cotton face mask and cotton lining materials in PPE and increased medical textiles consumption have thrown very good opportunity for India.
Shri T. Rajkumar pointed out that CITI, erstwhile known as Indian Cotton Mills Federation (ICMF), has had been striving hard to boost the economy of the cotton community by partnering with the Central and State Governments. CITI’s cotton development wing Cotton Development & Research Association (CDRA) and also SIMA Cotton Development & Research Association, a sister concern of our regional member Association, have been directly helping the cotton farmers and trade to improve cotton production, productivity and quality.
CITI Chairman appealed to the Hon’ble Prime Minister to announce the Technology Mission on Cotton in a revised format with the Mission Mode approach that has already been recommended by the Hon’ble Union Minister of Textiles.
CITI Chairman also said, “the textile industry was committed to undertake cotton contract farming especially for ELS cotton; several leading groups are already on the job and many more have shown interest to venture into contract farming on ELS cotton”. He concluded by saying that he was sure that the new Agriculture Reforms would greatly benefit the cotton community to enable the country to be the leader in clothing the world with cotton textiles.