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    WTO to host first World Cotton Day celebrations in Geneva

    Published on October 7, 2019

    World Trade Organisation, WTO will host the first World Cotton Day (WCD) celebrations in Geneva today. This event stems from the application by the Cotton-4 countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali) to the United Nations General Assembly for its official recognition of a World Cotton Day, reflecting the importance of cotton as a global commodity.

    Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani is representing India in the five-day event of World Cotton Day being observed at Geneva beginning today. The plenary session will be attended by heads of states, heads of international organisations and executives from the private sector.

    World Cotton Day will celebrate the many advantages of cotton, from its qualities as a natural fibre, to the benefits people obtain from its production, transformation, trade and consumption. World Cotton Day will also serve to shed light on the challenges faced by cotton economies around the world because cotton is important to least developed, developing and developed economies worldwide.

    The World Cotton Day launch will give more than 30 countries exposure to producers, processors and businesses and more than 400 participants will be celebrating cotton in Geneva with thousand more around the world.

    A cotton exhibition is also being held where TEXPROCIL, Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC), Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) will be setting up their stalls.

    A sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi made out of cotton will be displayed to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation. The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) will be displaying India’s high quality cotton textiles at the exhibition.

    At the exhibition HEPC will be displaying hand woven products from prominent clusters of India and will also have a live demonstration of the charkha by Pitta Ramulu, National Awardee weaver. The charkha will be donated to the WTO after the event.

    The India pavilion at the World Cotton Day exhibition is being curated and designed by NIFT, a pioneer institute of fashion education in India. Fabrics which have been given Geographical Indication like Venkatagiri, Chanderi, Maheshwari and Ikkat sarees will be displayed along with many other traditional Indian textiles and organic cotton fabrics.

    Between 2011 and 2018, India implemented a Cotton Technical Assistance Programme (Cotton TAP-I) of about 2.85 million US dollars for seven African countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad and also Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria.

    Cotton is a global commodity that is produced all over the world and a single tonne of cotton provides year-round employment for five people on average. Cotton is a drought – resistant crop ideal for arid climates, it occupies just 2.1 per cent of the world’s arable land, yet it meets 27 per cent 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.

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