Cotton community in the US has realised that cotton industry needs collective effort by all stakeholders to advance. End-user communities, research organisations, financial institutions, policy-makers need to work with cotton, agriculture and for that matter any industrial sector to advance.
Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. has been the champion of the collective spirit and it can serve as model for the global cotton and textile industries. As the planting season is on the High Plains of Texas, stakeholders related to the industry gathered recently to discuss planting season, cotton market situation and federal support programmes.
Researchers from Texas AgriLife Research and Extension, Texas Tech University and USDA presented scenarios with regard to pest management, weed control, moisture situation, etc. With the medium to long-term climatic conditions, showing above average precipitations for this region, this season should be very positive for cotton.
Global demand of cotton is good, which may be a driver for more cotton planting in the High Plains. However, as cotton being non-food crop is subjected to many uncertainties such as consumer demand, price volatility, competition from other producing countries and cost of production. With heavy dependency on weather, to have sustained advancement in sectors such as cotton and production agriculture in general, safety net policies are needed.
Global textile and cotton industry whether a major cotton producer like India, or leading apparel producer like Bangladesh needs to have strong associations such as those in the United States to take care of the needs of their producers, manufacturers.
In the United States, associations such as Plains Cotton Growers, Memphis-based National Cotton Council and National Council of Textile Organizations play a vital role to support and advance the industry.
By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA