National Workshop on ‘Desi cotton – Unknown Treasure’
Multi-stakeholders dialogue on policy change, supply of quality non-GM cotton seeds and Marketing
24-25th Feb 2014, K.H.Patil Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hulikote, Gadag Dist, Karnataka
Indian cotton was once infamously plundered by the British to benefit their finished goods economy back home. The world-famous Dhaka muslin was woven with desi cotton. But while the foreign regime kept the Indian cotton alive, albeit for its own gains, independent India presided over its complete decimation.
Desi varieties are important in providing short-staple cotton used in manufacture of canvass and denim cloth, besides for medical purposes such as bandage cloth. Surgical cotton or absorbent cotton is in great demand all over the world, but with desi cotton — considered ideal raw material for it — being edged out, manufacturers have been banking heavily on regular American cotton. Desi cotton was also accompanied by manual yarn making and hand weaving of the most skilful and aesthetic kind making India world-famous for its textiles. However, to cater to mill technology which demanded medium and long staple cotton, changes were brought into India’s cotton fields, with American cotton introduced, followed decades later with American hybrids
Desi cotton (Gossypium arboreum and G. herbaceum) varieties were grown on about 98 per cent area around 1947 and the American cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) on just around 2%. Decades after our Independence, wherein cotton played a large, symbolic role for signifying sovereignty and self-rule, the situation is now exactly the reverse.
Sahaja Samrudha in collaboration with Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) and K.H.Patil Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hulkoti is organizing a two-day workshop on “Desi Cotton: Cultivation and Culture”, on February 24-25th 2014.
The workshop is expected to:
- present an overview on GM and non-GM cotton production in India in addition to history of Desi cotton Culture and Cultivation
- Look at the potential role of Desi Cotton in textile and surgical industry, in addition to looking at Desi cotton revival leading to specialized and niche garment markets around organic, khadi, handloom;
- Look into quality aspects and needs of desi cotton seed production, in addition to any research related to agronomic practices to improve production end matters for cultivators;
- Depict a roadmap to increase availability and ensure quality of desi cotton seed in future.
We are looking forward to interesting presentations and a constructive dialogue, which could potentially lead to collaborations and partnerships.
‘Nandana’, No-7, 2nd Cross, 7th Main, Sulthanpalya, Bangalore-560 032
Phone: 080-23655302 / 9880862058 www.sahajasamrudha.org