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Multinational clothing companies are investing heavily in Better Cotton Initiative in India.

Textile Raw materials market
Multinational clothing companies are investing heavily in Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in India to deal with socioeconomic and climate challenges associated with cotton production.

Sumeet Mittal, Head of Cotton, Louis Dreyfus Company said the prime objective of the whole exercise is to support sustainable cotton production by increasing the volume of Better Cotton purchased by 50 per cent year-on-year, bought from ginners and traders who engage directly with cotton farmers to train them in BCI-standard best practices.

According to him, their collaboration with BCI in India began in 2018 in partnership with Puneet Enterprises. “Working together, we have since supported over 15,000 local farmers to address some of the social, economic and climatic challenges associated with cotton production, such as dependence on credit, unpredictable weather, lack of technical information and market access, as well as gender inequality,” he added.

Under this arrangement, he said, farmers get information on sustainable farming techniques including intercropping to improve yields and productivity, proper application of fertilisers, effective pest control methods, as well as the key role of women in agriculture and how to engage their active participation in cotton farming.

India was one of the first countries to implement the Better Cotton programme, with the first harvest of Better Cotton produced in 2011. India is the world’s second largest producer of cotton after China and cotton is one of the country’s most important crops. India has been producing cotton for textiles for thousands of years, and today, some 5.8 million farmers make a living from growing cotton with tens of millions of people working in the cotton industry.

It has the largest number of farmers participating in the programme and growing Better Cotton. India also has the largest area under cotton cultivation in the world approximately 12,607 million hectares.
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