Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Textiles, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, said that it is time for India to adopt world standards in cotton productivity, adding that all stakeholders must share best practices to boost cotton productivity in India to further boost farmer incomes.

Speaking at an interactive meeting with stakeholders of Cotton Textile Value Chain on improving cotton productivity and branding of Indian Cotton, the Union Minister added that the Private sector must contribute to boosting research in productivity, farmers’ education as well as branding, for which the Government would provide matching support.

Emphasising an integrated approach, Minister Goyal said, “We need to brand our cotton which is of good quality by an equal contribution from Industry. Action on reducing contamination issues like coloured HDPE. Master plan to be worked out by industry within one week.”

According to Goyal, cotton acts as a bridge between textiles and agriculture and cotton-based products have a significant share of total textiles & apparel products, both at the domestic and international levels.

The Centre has been working on PM Narendra Modi’s ‘ 5F ’ vision: ‘Farm to Fibre; Fibre to Factory; Factory to Fashion; Fashion to Foreign.’ Agreements for duty-free access to Textiles with Australia & UAE have given a new impetus to the trade and similar agreements with the EU, UK & Canada are being negotiated.

Goyal said that it is vital to increase yield and profit margins for cotton farmers by creating awareness about the right seeds and encouraging farmers to adopt modern technology and progressive agricultural practices.

Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, who was also present at the event, said that there is a need to work out short-term and long-term strategies for boosting productivity and that high-density farming and micro-irrigation are key to boosting cotton productivity in large parts of the nation.

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