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Government to extend cotton pilot project beyond March 2024


Following a 25 per cent surge in cotton production across 10 states, the government plans to extend its successful pilot project beyond March 2024. Launched in April 2023, the project's success is attributed to the government's adoption of best agronomy practices, quality seeds, and high-density planting systems, with evaluation by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

The pilot project, spanning Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka, contributed to a 5.7 per cent increase in cotton exports during April-October 2023. Commerce Ministry data indicates exports of cotton fabrics, yarns, and handloom products in these states reached $6,877 million, up from $6,509.51 million last year. September's textile production saw a 3.7 percent year-on-year growth according to Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data.

Kulin Lalbhai, Chairman, CII National Committee on Textiles and Apparel, foresees rising demand for textile products as brands adjust inventories and normalize buying patterns. Despite an overall decline in India's textile production, with annual cotton production expected to drop from 37 million bales in 2017-18 to 31.8 million bales in the ongoing fiscal year, as per the Cotton Association of India, the Textile Ministry aims to boost exports. The ministry targets increasing technical textile exports from $2.5 billion to $10 billion in the next five years, notes Anand Ramanathan, Partner at Deloitte India. In pursuit of overall export growth, India actively engages in free trade agreements, boasting 13 agreements with countries including Japan, South Korea, ASEAN nations, and SAARC members.



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