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Issue 6
, 2007
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Demand for organic cotton growing: India emerges as largest producer

Source: Toxics Link, Date: , 2007

Global consumers are increasingly becoming environmentally conscious and this is pushing the demand for organic and eco-friendly products, particularly textile. Demand for organic cotton is accelerating with brands and retailers continuing responding to consumer choices by increasing the use of organic cotton for manufacturing textiles.

The estimated global retail sale for textiles are projected to touch 2.6 billion US dollars by the end of 2008, reflecting a 116 per cent of average annual growth rate. With this the demand for organic cotton fiber is expected to grow to 100,000 metric tons in 2008 from 40,000 metric tons in 2006, an average annual growth rate of 75 per cent.

India is today the largest producer of organic cotton in the world with a production of 15,000 tons but still has a huge opportunity to grow. There is no conflict of interest between the conventional cotton and organic cotton and both need to co-exist in a consumer oriented society," said Mr. J.N.Singh, Textile Commissioner, Government of India, while inaugurating the full day conference titled "Understanding evolving eco issues in textiles" in Mumbai last month.

Organic cotton is not only cheaper to produce, but it also prevents soil damage as caused by the modern synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Several cotton farming regions in Africa have been adapted by leading global brands on contract farming basis leading to higher remuneration for farmers, fair trade practices and women empowerment.