Producing contamination free cotton is the biggest task for the country, according to the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI). Due to this issue, Indian cotton is sold on discounted rates in comparison to equivalent foreign cotton. The problem is significant at farm level due to small land holdings by farmers, manual picking and different climatic conditions.
“Indian cotton also gets contaminated with various foreign materials like jute twine, dust, plastic, fibre, varietal admixture and more due to poor handling at farm level and during processing of cotton in ginning and pressing factories,” MM Chockalingam, chairman and managing director (I/C), CCI told Fibre2Fashion in an exclusive interview.
Ministry of agriculture is making various efforts for providing necessary training to cotton farmers and issuing advisory notice at farm level to avoid contamination.
“Ministry of textiles is also taking this issue very seriously and proposed various measures in its 12th five year plan by reviving the Mini Mission (MM) III & IV under technology mission on cotton-II in such a way that the least contaminated cotton may be available to the textile industry and farmers may get remunerative prices for their produce,” added Chockalingam.
Under MM-III, besides developing the infrastructure of market yards, the focus is on providing training to farmers on modern farm practices and handling indigenous technology for plucking kapas faster without adding contamination through prototype kapas plucker machine. This will not only help farmers in reducing their input cost of labour, but will also prevent contamination at farm level, according to the CCI chief.
As for MM-IV, besides modernisation of ginning and pressing factories with sensors for removal of contamination, the focus is to introduce bale-by-bale third party testing and certification systems. Once it is implemented, these measures will ensure removal of contamination at all stages and Indian cotton will fetch better prices, making Indian cotton capable of competing at world level with quality adhering to international standards, he explained.
Chockalingam also said that the government has adopted various measures like technology mission on cotton, integrated cotton cultivation, high density planting system and instrument based quality evaluation. This has led India to become one of the largest cotton growing states with reasonably good quality of cotton. With enhanced research efforts made by the government, basic fibre parameters as well as quality of ginning and pressing have also shown tremendous improvements. (KD)
Source: Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India