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Natural fibres backbone of textile industry: Agri minister
02
Jul '17
Union minister for agriculture Radha Mohan Singh today described natural fibres as the backbone of the Indian textiles industry. The minister noted that despite stiff competition from synthetic fibres, the demand for natural fibres was steadily increasing with a growing population. Natural fibre production involves millions of farmers and industries using them are creating rural jobs, he said.

Chairing a session on ‘Productivity and Product Diversification Challenges for Natural Fibres’ at Textiles India 2017, Singh said that given the bottlenecks in increasing the area under cultivation, the only way to improve production would be to increase productivity. Introduction of high-yielding varieties, best agronomical practices, efficient fibre extractors and effective utilisation for diversified products will improve productivity. This is the right time for all stakeholders to discuss and formulate a suitable strategy to increase productivity of all natural fibres.

Union minister for chemicals and fertilisers Ananth Kumar, who chaired a session on ‘Potential of Man-Made Fibres in India’, remarked that man-made fibres (MMF) were gaining wide applications in both conventional and technical textiles. Considering the global shift towards MMF, India is focusing to establish itself as a supplier of quality man-made textiles and apparel for the global market.

The minister highlighted the major opportunities for investment in MMF textiles in the following broad areas: import substitution, growing segments in international trade and domestic market opportunities. He added that a group would soon be formed for synergy between his ministry and the ministry of textiles, for jointly addressing challenges and opportunities.

Sharing her thoughts as the chair of a session on making India a sourcing hub and investment destination for the world, Union minister for commerce and industry, Nirmala Sitharaman recounted the historical fact that the Indian textile sector had attained global eminence long before many other sectors could establish themselves. Noting that India itself was a very big market, the minister said that the industry needed to tap opportunities in both domestic as well as international markets.

The session on skilling was chaired by the Union minister for skill development and entrepreneurship, Rajiv Pratap Rudy. The minister said that Skill India was an integral part of both Make in India and Textiles India. Rudy said that a key question facing the skill sector was that of creating a basic first-level skilling ecosystem in the country.

Citing examples of various beneficiaries, he highlighted the need for short-term skilling programmes, and formal interventions for skilled manpower. He said that work was being done in this direction by his ministry, to address the questions of how, for whom, where, curriculum, content, examination, certification and employment as it related to skilling requirements of the country. (KD, SG)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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