(New Delhi, 25 June 2024) As per the cotton estimates released by the Committee on Cotton Production and Consumption (COCPC) for cotton season 2023-24, cotton consumption is expected to increase to 351 lakh bales in 2023-24 from about 330 lakh bales in 2022-23.

Shri Rakesh Mehra, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) noted the efforts of the Government towards increasing the traceability of Indian cotton and cited that improved traceability along with the efforts to provide contamination-free better quality “Kasturi Cotton” may further increase demand & consumption in the coming years.

Expressing his concerns over the declined production and reduced acreage for the cotton season 2023-24 as compared to 2022-23, Shri Mehra said “While the industry is readying itself for achieving a US$ 350 bn market by 2030, an increased consumption of cotton is anticipated. However, the stagnation in acreage and continued lower yield as compared to other major cotton-producing nations is a major cause of worry for the Indian Textile Industry.”

He further cited that the industry is happy to note that the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Textiles have come together for the productivity enhancement of the Indian cotton sector and announced a “Pilot Project on Cotton” for the same, covering all the major cotton growing areas. CITI is also a part of this project which has showcased that significant improvement in cotton yields can be achieved only by following better agronomics practices. While Shri Mehra expressed hopes for continued productivity enhancement through such targeted interventions, he also requested the Government to announce the Technology Mission on Cotton 2.0 (TMC) at the earliest with a special focus on seed technology.

He further stated that the Government has increased the MSP for medium-staple and long-staple cotton by 7.6% and 7.1% respectively. While the industry welcomes this move as it will ensure that more farmers will adopt cotton farming as also follow better agronomics practices for productivity enhancement, concerns are there about growing price differences between MCX and ICE which reached as high as 29% in June 2024, majorly on account of the import duty being levied on the Indian cotton.

Citing the cost competitiveness and viability of the cotton to be essential for the downstream industry and the farmers’ well-being, Shri Rakesh Mehra also requested to Government to remove the import duty from all varieties of cotton as has been done for the Extra Long Staple Cotton.