World Cotton Day
On 7 October 2020, the WTO marks the first anniversary of World Cotton Day.
- The annual celebration of World Cotton Day provides the opportunity to recognize the importance of cotton as a global commodity grown in over 75 countries across five continents and to highlight its central role in job creation and maintaining economic stability in several least-developed countries.
- Celebrations marking the day also aim to foster sustainable trade policies and to enable developing countries to benefit more from every step of the cotton value chain.
- At the initiative of the Cotton-4 (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali), the WTO hosted on 7 October 2019 the launch of World Cotton Day in collaboration with the secretariats of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).
- The event was an opportunity for WTO members, the private sector and the international development community to share knowledge and showcase cotton-related activities and products.
- To give exposure and recognition to cotton and all its stakeholders in production, transformation and trade,
- To engage donors and beneficiaries and strengthen development assistance for cotton,
- To seek new collaborations with the private sector and investors for the cotton related industries and production in developing countries and promote technological advances, as well as further research and development on cotton.
- Cotton is a kharif crop which requires 6 to 8 months to mature. Its time of sowing and harvesting differs in different parts of the country depending upon the climatic conditions.
- Cotton is the crop of tropical and sub-tropical areas and requires uniformly high temperature varying between 21°C and 30°C. The growth of cotton is retarded when the temperature falls below 20°C.
- Cotton is a drought – resistant crop ideal for arid climates and requires an average annual rainfall of 50- 100 cm.
- It requires at least 210 frost free days in a year.
- It occupies just 2.1 % of the world’s arable land, yet it meets 27% of the world’s textiles need. In addition to its fibre used in textiles and apparel, food products are also derived from cotton like edible oil and animal feed from the seed.
- India is the second largest producer of cotton in the world after China.
- Between 2011 and 2018, India implemented a Cotton Technical Assistance Programme (Cotton TAP-I) for seven African countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad and also Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria.
- The technical assistance focused on improving the competitiveness of the cotton and cotton-based textiles and apparel industry in these countries through a series of interventions which had significant outcomes leading to a demand for a follow on project.