India moves towards growing more organic cotton
The textile and handloom segment of the market was seeing a major shift from conventional products to organic products. Sensing the opportunity, Sam C. Itticheriya, the directorate of handloom and textiles has launched a programme to encourage handloom weavers to switch to organic cotton
As organic farming will to make a fashion statement in Kerala, where the movement towards agriculture without chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers is picking up pace and an aura of irreversibility.
Only a small percentage of the estimated 25 million metres of cotton fabric from handloom weavers in the State is organically grown. However, the demand is huge and it will only accelerate, said Itticheriya. He pointed that a small segment of clothing marketing — babywear, mattresses and bed-sheets, to exemplify the boom in demand for organically grown cotton fabric.
The first of the products — shirts, dhotis, saris and bed-sheets, from organic fabric were launched in Kozhikode this month. 60 weavers were trained in weaving fabric out of organic cotton.
The directorate of Handloom Textiles is also holding seminars to create awareness about organic cotton products. According to Cotton Corporation of India figures, Kerala-based textile mills used around 32312000 kg of cotton during 2012-13.
In India, major cotton producing states include Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Throughout the world, of the total cotton produced, non-organic cotton accounts for 22.5 % of all insecticides and 11 % of pesticides used in agriculture.