World Cotton Day dedicated to the role of fiber in the socio-economic development of weaving |

An estimated 100 million family farmers in 80 countries are directly dependent on the cotton industry, in which women play a key role.

Cotton supports the economies of many low-income and developing countries.

Last year, he invested about $50 billion in their economic support and $20 billion in global trade, according to FAO.

In addition, it plays an important role in socio-economic development, international trade and poverty alleviation, and promotes Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

culturally important

The cultural significance of cotton, rooted in the heart of human civilization, was recognized by the General Assembly in August 2021when he proclaimed October 7 of every year world cotton day.

It is the most important natural fiber used daily in clothing and home furnishing and is an important source of export earnings for some of the world’s poorest countries.

Problems abound

This day highlights the need for a sustainable cotton sector that improves production, nutrition, the environment and life, leaving no one behind.

However, market price volatility, climate change, pests, diseases, COVID and the global economic downturn are among the challenges the sector is currently facing.

In addition, cotton faces a number of uncertainties on both the production and demand side that need to be properly addressed if the sector is to realize its full potential in supporting economic growth and sustainable development.

Large investments are needed to expand the sector beyond raw cotton production and create new income opportunities, especially for farmers, by increasing the value of cotton fiber and developing by-products from other parts of the cotton mill.

© FAO/Svyatoslav Voytkovyak

Cotton production is a significant contributor to Mali’s economy despite often difficult trading conditions.

The Miracles of Cotton

  • Cotton provides employment and income for millions of smallholders, workers and their families.

  • It is an important source of foreign exchange earnings for low-income countries,

  • And offers a way to address broader development challenges to empower women and boost youth employment.

stepping up

UN agencies worked on a mission to streamline production and improve local processing capacity, and discussed reforms needed to address high trade barriers and disparities for cotton producers in developing countries. These efforts date back to 2003. Cotton Initiative.

And FAO has long offered technical and policy support to developing countries to boost productivity and create more opportunities along the cotton value chain.

Boubaker Ben Belhassen, Director of the FAO Markets and Trade Division, recalled that the goal of the global celebration is to “draw attention to the hundreds of millions of people around the world who make their living through the cotton value chain” and highlight the sector’s contribution to development.

Growing fiber

  • Innovative technologies and resources are vital to ensure the sector remains viable and sustainable.

  • Investment is needed to expand the sector and create new income opportunities through the production of by-products from other parts of the cotton mill.

  • An open, fair, predictable and transparent international cotton trading system is key to supporting hundreds of millions of vulnerable people.

  • Domestic support measures are critical to avoid trade and other market distortions that hinder the benefits of trade liberalization.

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