By admin       2018-05-10

10 May '18 - C&A Foundation has joined hands with Madhya Pradesh government to work towards building a prosperous value chain for organic cotton benefitting everyone from farm to store – farmers, manufacturers, brands, research institutes, and society. In line to this, an event was held recently, highlighting the state's global leadership in organic cotton production. The event also facilitated a dialogue between stakeholders of the organic cotton supply chain on working collaboratively to build a robust and resilient organic cotton sector. It was attended by government representatives including policy-makers and members from academia; stakeholders from across the organic cotton supply chain including representatives of international brands and retailers as well as a large number of organic cotton farmers. "Madhya Pradesh is the leader in India’s organic farm output and a global leader in the production of organic cotton. This needs to be celebrated. We also need to make note of the many challenges that present themselves in the sector so there is much still to be done. This event highlights that it is the collective and focused effort from all stakeholders of the organic cotton ecosystem in the state, brands, retailers, supply chain actors, civil society members, academicians and the state government, that need to come together and support the real heroes of this sector - the organic cotton farmer. We, at the C&A Foundation, are delighted to be partnering with the government and will continue to foster this collaboration of different stakeholders so that both the organic cotton sector and the farmers who are part of it continue to flourish and keep the flag of both, Madhya Pradesh and India flying high," Anita Chester, head sustainable raw materials of C&A Foundation, said, "Under Shivraj Singh, chief minister's vision we are not only committed to promoting organic cotton, but also have set in place institutional mechanisms for its advancements. Today, organic cotton is cultivated in over 2 lakh hectare of land in Madhya Pradesh. Through this international Summit, we want to encourage farmers to adopt organic cotton farming and hope to organize many more events like this in the future, to create awareness and build enthusiasm amongst farmers for organic farming. We look forward to implement the best practices and learnings we have taken from the various discussions here today and will share it with the farmer communities at large," Gaurishankar Bisen, minister-farmer welfare and agriculture development, government of Madhya Pradesh, said. "We are proud of Madhya Pradesh’s achievements in spearheading the organic cotton revolution and aim to increase organic cotton farming from 30,000 to 75,000 hectares in the next 3 years. To further reinforce the organic cotton initiative, the government of Madhya Pradesh has sanctioned at least 100 organic cotton clusters under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY). In a bid to further strengthen research through the state agriculture universities, the state has also established a pesticides residue testing centre to improve quality of exports. In addition, we are establishing India’s first dedicated Centre of Excellence for organic research centre in Mandla and organic cotton research in Khandwa. Soon, Madhya Pradesh will become the first state in India with a dedicated agriculture produce and export promotion agency that will also boost organic cotton export. We strongly believe that these steps would be key enablers in overcoming the barriers to organic cotton cultivation, addressing agricultural concerns for farmers, in a sustainable manner," Dr Rajesh Rajora, principal secretary, department of farmer welfare and agriculture development, government of Madhya Pradesh, said. Despite the fact that organic cotton farming is beneficial for the environment and helps farmers in reducing cultivation costs by adoption of natural (non-chemical) inputs in cultivation – organic cotton production remains less than 1 per cent of the global cotton production. The government of Madhya Pradesh and C&A Foundation seek to change this scenario. The 'Cotton Trailblazers' event was one such step in this direction to taking Madhya Pradesh further in its organic cotton journey.

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