Scheme support for organic cotton farmers in India

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23 December 2021, New Delhi: The state governments are responsible for production of all types of cotton including organic cotton. The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) advocates for promotion of specialty/ organic cotton through user industry to enable farmers get maximum returns for produce.

Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce & Industry is the Secretariat for implementation of National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). NPOP provides an institutional mechanism for accreditation of certification bodies and certification of organic process & products. Presently, raw organic cotton (seed cotton) is mandated under the certification of NPOP as notified under the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act of Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The processing such as ginning, spinning, knitting, weaving etc are not covered under NPOP as mandatory requirement for export from the country and the processed form of organic cotton is exported under private certification system.

To overcome all the challenges & issues of concern in the supply chain of processed form of cotton, on the advice of Ministry of Textiles, APEDA has developed and launched Standard for Chain of Custody for Indian Organic Fibres & Products in 2020, on voluntary basis under NPOP for certification of fibres from farm to made-ups.

Besides, Government is promoting organic farming under the schemes viz., Parampragat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) since 2015-16. Both the schemes provide end to end support for organic farmers from organic production to certification and marketing including post harvest management support like processing, packaging, storage etc.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) and All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Cotton have released 64 non-Bt (non-GM) cotton varieties/hybrids during 2017-2021 that can be adopted by organic cotton growers. Nucleus/breeder seeds are available with the developer and seeds are being provided to organic cotton famers after getting the indent. ICAR-CICR and AICRP on Cotton are helping farmers by providing source of breeder seeds and package of practices for organic cotton production

Also Read: Various interventions and schemes launched for the benefit of Indian farmers

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