Certification system for organic cotton planned: Smriti Irani

New Delhi: Textiles minister Smriti Zubin Irani on Wednesday launched the ‘Kasturi’ brand name for Indian cotton and said the government is working on a phased introduction of a certification system for organic cotton across the entire value chain.

“Ministry of textiles in pursuit of the agenda of cotton farmers and cotton product manufacturers…have pursued with the ministry of commerce and industry a certification system for organic cotton to be introduced in phases in the entire value chain,” Irani said at a virtual event organised by the Confederation of Indian Textile Industries, Cotton Corporation of India and The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council.

The minister also said the government is looking at prospects in emerging fields like personal protection equipment (PPE) where cotton can be leveraged from across the dimension of technical textiles.

At the same event, textiles Secretary Ravi Capoor said certain ‘markers’ have been developed in conjunction with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) for branding Indian organic cotton, and it is in the last stages of finalisation.

Irani also said she was hopeful that the Agricultural reform bills passed recently by Parliament will strengthen cotton opportunities for Indian farmers.

Highlighting that the Cotton Corporation of India undertook one of the largest minimum support price operations in the previous cotton season, Irani said she was hopeful of even better prospects for farmers this year when the cotton procurement season begins, with over 430 centres operational across the country.

Capoor said India, whose strength is cotton, needs to move to new areas such as the organic cotton which are supported by the climatic zones. Noting that India produces 40% of global cotton, he said: “Cotton is India’s strength and will always be but as the world moves to new fibres, we should be ready…to move to new areas which are supported by the climatic zones and that is organic cotton”.

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