Textile industry is undertaking an initiative to broad-base the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton production.
Pakistan is currently the leading producer of BCI cotton as around 163000 metric tonnes of cotton is grown and processed with BCI standards as of December 2013.
Acting Chairman APTMA said this BCI cotton initiative was introduced by WWF Pakistan and funded by EU, Switch Asia and IKEA. APTMA is a founder member of this initiative and in order to make the initiative sustainable and expand it to maximum areas of cotton production is preparing a proposal to the Ministry of textile Industry for funding the project from the Export Development Fund (EDF). He said the sustainability-led initiative will help boost textile exports across the textile value chain from farm to fashion to foreign trade. He said the BCI aims to promote measurable improvements in the key environmental and social impacts of cotton cultivation worldwide and the APTMA is among the founder members of the BCI Steering Committee since last four years. He said the BCI cotton farmers have reduced water use by 20%, pesticide by 50% and fertilizer application by 33% after BCI. Similarly, he added, the farmers have also increased their overall net revenue by 35%. Acting Chairman APTMA Punjab Syed Ali Ahsan said the traceability of textile products with the use of Better Cotton is fast becoming mandatory and the number of BCI-based producers, traders and merchants is on the rise.
He said leading international brands including H&M, Mark & Spencer, Levi’s, IKEA and Walmart are sourcing BCI cotton textile products and their targets are increasing every year.
He has expressed the hope that the government would help extend support for an earliest expansion of BCI cotton production in Pakistan.