SME Times News Bureau | 08 Oct, 2019
Minister of Textiles Zubin Irani on Monday announced the launch of the second phase of the Cotton Technical Assistance
Programme (TAP) for Africa at the Partners Conference in Geneva.
said that India remains committed to building on
its longstanding development partnership with Africa, especially in the field
of cotton, and the TAP programme is a step in this direction.
In the five year long second phase, the programme will be
scaled up in size and coverage and will be introduced in five additional
countries, namely Mali, Ghana, Togo, Zambia and Tanzania.
The Cotton TAP programme will now cover 11 African countries
including the C4 (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali). India implemented a
Technical Assistance Programme (TAP) for cotton in 6 African countries, namely
– Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda from 2012 to 2018.
Irani further said that India is also engaging meaningfully
in providing assistance to strengthen both the agriculture and textile part of
the cotton value chain in Africa through training and capacity-building of
farmers, scientists, government officials and industry representatives and
through the creation of cotton-related infrastructure.
As one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of
cotton, India supports the World Cotton Day as an opportunity to recognise the
significance of cotton as a global commodity, and, more importantly, as a
source of livelihood for millions of small and marginal farmers in developing
countries, she said, at the opening session of World Cotton Day in Geneva
Irani said that it is fitting that Mahatma Gandhi has been
chosen as the icon for the World Cotton Day and to mark the celebration of the
first World Cotton Day, India will gift a replica of Mahatma Gandhi’s Charkha
to the WTO.
She also informed that a live demonstration of the Charkha
has been arranged a by Pitta Ramulu,
National Award winning weaver from India.
The Textiles Minister also informed that cotton farming and
the domestic cotton textile industry continue to be important pillars of
As a country of 8 million small and marginal cotton farmers,
India is sensitive to the challenges faced by the cotton sector in developing
countries and India has been a proponent for the elimination of asymmetries and
imbalances in the WTO agreements that lead to a distortion of global cotton
markets, the Minister added.
Irani expressed hope that the World Cotton Day will help
showcase innovative initiatives in the cotton eco-system and channel more
development assistance for cotton.