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Smriti Irani to represent India at World Cotton Day in Geneva

Published: Oct 04, 2019

By TIOLCORPLAWS News Service

NEW DELHI, OCT 04, 2019: THE Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, is participating in the World Cotton Day being observed from October 7th to October 11th in Geneva this month. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is organizing World Cotton Day event in collaboration with the Secretariats of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). Union Minister of Textiles, Ms Smriti Zubin Irani, will participate in the plenary session of the event to be attended by heads of states, heads of international organisations and executives from the private sector.

WTO is hosting the event at the request of the Cotton – 4 countries, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali to celebrate their official application for the recognition of October 07 as World Cotton Day by the United Nations.  World Cotton Day will celebrate the many advantages of cotton, from its qualities as a natural fibre, to the benefits people obtain from its production, transformation, trade and consumption. World Cotton Day will also serve to shed light on the challenges faced by cotton economies around the world because cotton is important to least developed, developing and developed economies worldwide.

Cotton is a global commodity that is produced all over the world and a single tonne of cotton provides year-round employment for five people on average. Cotton is a drought – resistant crop ideal for arid climates, it occupies just 2.1 % of the world's arable land, yet it meets 27% of the world's textiles need. In addition to its fibre used in textiles and apparel, food products are also derived from cotton like edible oil and animal feed from the seed.

The objective of observing October 7th as World Cotton Day is to give exposure and recognition to cotton and all its stakeholders in production, transformation and trade; to engage donors and beneficiaries and strengthen development assistance for cotton; seek new collaborations with the private sector and investors for the cotton related industries and production in developing countries and promote technological advances, as well as further research and development on cotton. 

The World Cotton Day launch event in Geneva on October 7 th is an opportunity for members, the private sector and the international development community to share knowledge and showcase cotton related activities and products. There will also be a Partners Conference where development partners will discuss and consolidate support for the new project on cotton by products and for other development initiatives.

There will be a photo contest to encourage photographers around the world to communicate strong and positive messages underlying the importance of the cotton value chain. A fashion event will take place to display cotton fashion and designers from different parts of the world with a special focus on Africa. A cotton exhibition is also being held where TEXPROCIL, Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC), Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) will be setting up their stalls.

The CCI will be displaying various grades of raw cotton including SUVIN, the finest quality of Extra Long Staple Cotton produced in Tamil Nadu having the highest fibre length. Further, natural coloured cotton that is grown in Dharwad in the state of Karnataka in different colours like dark brown, medium brown, green and cream colours will also be on display. Being naturally coloured there is no need to use synthetic dyes which leads to less toxicity in the fabric when used.

A sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi made out of cotton will be displayed to commemorate the 150 th birth anniversary of Gandhi ji.  

The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) will be displaying India's high quality cotton textiles at the exhibition. At the exhibition HEPC will be displaying hand woven products from prominent clusters of India and will also have a live demonstration of the charkha by Pitta Ramulu, National Awardee weaver. The charkha will be donated to the WTO after the event. 

The India pavilion at the World Cotton Day exhibition is being curated and designed by NIFT, a pioneer institute of fashion education in India. The NIFT exhibition will be an immersive   experience that will bring out the beauty and soul of Indian Textiles with its hand spun and hand woven Khadi. Fabrics which have been given Geographical Indication like Venkatagiri, Chanderi, Maheshwari and Ikkat sarees will be displayed along with many other traditional Indian textiles and organic cotton fabrics.

The World Cotton Day launch will give more than 30 countries exposure to producers, processors and businesses and more than 400 participants will be celebrating cotton in Geneva with thousand more around the world. World Cotton Day will be celebrated in countries across the globe, with events giving exposure to farmers, processors, researchers and businesses and their contributions to the cotton value chain. These activities will be organised at the country level and livestreamed at the WTO headquarters.

Between 2011 and 2018, India implemented a Cotton Technical Assistance Programme (Cotton TAP-I) of about USD 2.85 million for seven African countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad and also Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria. The technical assistance focused on improving the competitiveness of the cotton and cotton-based textiles and apparel industry in these countries through a series of interventions which had significant outcomes leading to a demand for a follow on project.

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