India: Textiles Minister calls for roadmap for doubling cotton production


The Union Minister for Textiles Dr K. S. Rao, has said that a roadmap should be drawn up by the cotton industry to support the farm sector to double India’s cotton production in the short term. He urged the industry to work with Central Institute of Cotton Research and to come up with a viable proposal to develop improved variety of traditional seeds and other farm practices which have been successfully tried in some countries with spectacular results in areas of productivity and disease resistance. He expressed his views in an interactive session with stake holders of the cotton value chain which comprised of Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) and South India Mills Association (SIMA) held recently in New Delhi .

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During the session, stake holders of the cotton value chain emphasized the need for a stable and transparent policy in the cotton distribution. The industry also sought the support of the government to make the working capital available to mills at easier terms for procurement of cotton, during the peak arrival seasons in order to stabilize the prices which will also avoid the need for MSP operation. The industry also felt that government should reintroduce the intervention under the erstwhile Technology Mission on Cotton (TMC) for improving market yards and ginning and pressing mills. The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) and Cotton Association of India (CAI) presented their views on the global and domestic cotton scenario and potential of Indian cotton value added products exports in the emerging competitiveness of Indian industry in the session. The new cotton season (year 2013-14) begins on October 1, 2013.

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The Director, Central Institute of Cotton Research also made a presentation on the cotton seed related issues and highlighted the problems of spurious hybrid seed and lack of discipline in this area. Secretary (Textiles) and senior officers from the Ministry of Textiles and Agriculture were also present in the session.

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