Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Textiles and Women & Child Development launched the first ever brand and logo for Indian cotton on the second World Cotton Day on 7th October, 2020. Now India’s premium cotton would be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton trade. The Kasturi Cotton brand will represent whiteness, brightness, softness, purity, luster, uniqueness and Indianness.
Recounting the importance of cotton in the Indian economy, Smriti Irani said, “Cotton is one of the principal commercial crops of India and it provides livelihood to about 6 million cotton farmers. India is the second largest cotton producer and the largest consumer of cotton in the world. India produces about 6 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.”
She said that to ensure sustainability, integrity and end-to-end traceability of organic products, a certification system based on comparable international standards verified through internationally acceptable institutional system is required to be put in place.Accordingly, Ministry of Textiles through APEDA under Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has prescribed a certification system for organic cotton which will be introduced in phases in the entire textile value chain. Similarly, prescribing a certification system for non-organic cotton has also been taken up with APEDA so that usages of cotton can be suitably augmented. The Minister stated that Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has made the highest ever Minimum Support Price (MSP) operation of cotton and was hopeful that during the new cotton season, the procurement und er MSP will be increased.
CCI has opened 430 procurement centres in all cotton growing states and payments are being made digitally to farmers’ account within 72 hours. Further, leveraging the technology, a mobile app, “Cott-Ally” has been developed by CCI for providing latest news regarding weather condition, crop situation and best farm practices. Discount of Rs 300 per candy is being offered by CCI in its regular sale to MSME mills, Khadi and Village industry, cooperative sector mills to enhance their competitiveness and efficiency.