The cotton stakeholders across the textile value chain have been demanding to bring back technology mission on cotton in a revised format with two mini missions focusing on technology development and technology transfer under the Ministry of Agriculture and another two mini missions focusing on clean cotton and branding Indian cotton textile products.
The technology mission on cotton announced during 1999 got closed in the year 2012 that had made India as the largest cotton producer and net exporter in the world. Cotton has been the engine of growth for the predominantly cotton based textile industry that provides employment to over 105 million people including over 20 million cotton farmers. The Ministry of Textiles has already submitted a proposal to allocate funds to implement clean cotton and branding Indian cotton textile products missions.
The poor ginning practices adopted by the ginners makes Indian cotton varieties to come under the list of top 10 highly contaminated and seed coat (trash) content in the world as per the Annual Cotton Contamination Survey conducted by International Textile Manufacturers’ Federation (ITMF). The spinning sector and the farmers have been suffering during the last few years as some of the ginners were mixing cotton waste in the virgin cotton, producing cotton with high trash content, adding water to increase the lint weight etc., and thus affecting the value realisation and quality of the final products.
P Nataraj, Chairman, The Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) has stated that the Association has sent a representation to the Union Textile Minister seeking her intervention and empower Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to enforce certain regulations and discipline to curb malpractices adopted by certain ginners. He has appreciated the efforts taken by the Textile Minister and CMD, CCI for bringing quality norms especially for gin-out ratio, trash content, moisture content, weight loss, etc., apart from the regular quality parameters like staple length and micronaire value.
Nataraj has stated that the cotton waste price trend prevailed during the last few years indicate that the waste price steeply increased from the beginning of cotton season as the ginners procure waste cotton for adulteration. He has stated that such practices exponentially increase the short fibre content affecting value realisation, productivity and quality of the yarn.
SIMA Chief has proposed the following interventions by the Union Minister for Textiles to make the Indian cotton world-class in terms of quality and thereby help the cotton formers and the industry to achieve a sustained growth rate:
Empower the Textile Commissioner, Secretary, Textiles Committee, Director, TRAs, Director, CIRCOT and CMD, CCI to make periodical inspection in the ginning factories and take necessary action on the factories adopting malpractices; chronic ginning factories may be black listed and the details could be posted in the CCI’s website.
Make Textiles Committee to have periodical audits and recognize three to five star rated ginning factories by posting the details in the CCI’s website.
Empower CCI to introduce 16 digit RFID code for individual bale quality parameters on par with USDA that practices the same since 1991; CCI could take the help of Textiles Committee, Textile Research Associations and CIRCOT for RFID certification. These organisations could outsource cotton testing facilities from the industry and the educational institutions wherever necessary. This system could be started for the five star rated ginning factories. This would considerably enhance value addition, increase the income and profit for all the stakeholders.
MoT may expedite fund allocation to create HVI cotton testing facilities in all the major cotton centres as already recommended by Cotton Advisory Board under TMC-II proposal.