Need good quality cotton seeds to boost productivity

To increase India’s cotton productivity, supply of good quality seeds is the need of the hour and requires some concrete action from related ministries on a war footing, Union Minister Piyush Goyal has said. He also stressed the need to introduce advanced technologies related to high-yielding cotton seeds and innovative agronomy, such as high-density planting systems, to enhance the productivity of cotton.

Goyal called upon the textile industry to self-regulate towards branding and certifying Indian cotton ‘Kasturi’ and assured that the government will support the initiative with funds matching the industry contribution. The textiles minister held the third interactive meeting with the Textile Advisory Group (TAG) on Monday.

He also emphasised the strengthening testing facility needed to conform to Kasturi standards, DNA testing and traceability. Goyal assured that adequate modern testing facilities would be created through the Bureau of Indian Standards and Textile Research Associations. He appreciated the action taken by the industry and its nominated body to work on the quality, traceability and branding of Kasturi Cotton. 

The minister pointed out that the quality of Indian cotton fibre is paramount, therefore implementation of cotton bales quality control order under the BIS Act 2016 is a must for the standardisation of cotton bales. Chairing the meeting, Goyal reviewed the actions initiated subsequent to the last interactive meeting held in New Delhi. 

A holistic plan for increasing cotton productivity was presented by ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research – (CICR), Nagpur, for improving cotton productivity through a farmer awareness programme, HDPS and global best farm practices. He urged that the textile industry and industry associations should join hands to promote handheld kapas plucker machines.

“The Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) will take up this project in mission mode with distribution support from Cotton Corporation of India Ltd. Industry Associations and Industry leaders together agreed to fund 75,000 handheld kapas plucker machines. Additionally, FPOs may be actively involved to empower cotton farmers,” the textile ministry said.

Responding to the demand of the industry for a change of colour of fertiliser bags that are reused by farmers in cotton picking and storing, which have been attributed as one of the major causes of contamination in cotton, Goyal said the Centre has notified ‘One Nation One Fertilizer’ scheme which defines logo and pattern to take care of this concern. 

Source: India TV