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Title:ICAC
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ICAC
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About ICAC
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锘
#Truth: Every tonne of cotton represents full-time, year-round employment for 5-6 people.
77th Plenary Meeting: 鈥楥otton Challenges: Smart and Sustainable Solutions鈥
Interactive Cotton Map: Three Clicks to a World of Cotton Data
About ICAC
The Committee is the outgrowth of an international cotton meeting held in Washington, DC, in September of 1939. At that time, world stocks of cotton had reached nearly 25 million bales, of which more than half of which were located in the United States.In September 1939, the following 10 producing countries convened in Washington, DC: Brazil, British cotton exporting colonies, Egypt, French cotton exporting colonies, India, Mexico, Peru, Sudan, the USSR, and the United States, to discuss problems of overproduction, rising stocks and falling prices. The principal objective was to take concerted international action to avoid chaotic developments in the world cotton economy.
Learn more...
Member Benefits
Membership in the ICAC provides tangible benefits in the form of increased access to statistics and critical technical information provided by the Secretariat. Membership can lead to enhanced participation in collaborative interactions in cotton research and development. And, perhaps most importantly, membership provides the avenue for a country's government and cotton industry to join fully into the fraternity of cotton countries in discussions of cotton issues of international scope and significance. The ICAC is an association of 26 members with an interest in cotton. The ICAC, formed in 1939, is the only inter颅governmental body for cotton producing, consuming and trading countries. There are currently nine members of the Secretariat originating from eight different countries 鈥 Belarus, Colombia, France, Great Britain, India, Russia, Spain and USA 鈥 who work together from one office in Washington.
Learn more...
News
Press releases from ICAC and breaking news stories from the cotton value chain
Sign Up
Pesticides
MYTH: Cotton uses excessive amounts of pesticides to produce fibre.TRUTH: With a mere 1 kg of pesticides, cotton produces enough fibre to make 600 t-shirts.Defend our natural fibre! When you see myths being told about cotton, point them out! Education is the key to change.
Read more...
Synthetic
The skyrocketing amount of plastic trash is unquestionably a scary
situation, and the calls to ban plastics straws and 鈥渃otton buds鈥 are worth
considering. However, note that in this context, "cotton bud" refers
to the plastic stem, NOT the cotton swabs themselves. Also, many manufacturers
have replaced the plastic stems with paper ones to minimise their environmental
impact.
聽
Read more...
#TruthAboutCotton
Debunking the
myths and misperceptions that plague the cotton industry
Learning Corner
Focusing on environmentally conscious best practices for cotton cultivation
Data Portal
Global Cotton Information and Advisory
Slide Share
Technical Information
Projects amp; Workshops
Research Associate Program, Regional Networks, and current and closed projects
The Pink Bollworm Menace
The Pink
boll worm (PBW) is a worldwide pest of cotton. It is one of the three major
species of cotton boll worms. It is one of the biggest threats to cotton
production across the world. PBW is known to severely damage cotton up-to the
extent of 60%. It has been causing severe crop losses to Bt-cotton in India and Pakistan in recent years. Studies confirmed
that PBW developed high levels of resistance to Bt-cotton in India. Concerns of PBW resistance to Bt-cotton have also been raised in China
recently. USA has been able to manage PBW through excellent eco-friendly
approaches that are worth emulating.
PBW feeds
inside fruiting parts and is therefore not amenable to pesticide exposure. The
worms feed mainly on cotton but can also survive on Jute, Hibiscus and Okra.
Moths are about 1 cm long and lay 200-400 eggs on flowers and bolls. Soon after
hatching, the young larvae feed on ovaries of the buds and flower, or bore into
tender green bolls. The larvae feed on developing seeds. Tender green bolls
(10-20 days old) are most preferred.
The main
control methods hinge on five main strategies
1. Deployment
of Bt-cotton
2. Use of
short-season cultivars coupled with enforcement of a closed season
3. Pheromone
based monitoring and control methods
4. Mass
inundation with male-sterile moths
5. Integration
of transgenic, biological, ecological, cultural and chemical control methods
In Asia PBW occurs
as a late season pest that mainly infests cotton during late winters. Short
season cultivars that are harvested before the onset of winter, escape damage.
The recent PBW problem in India has been traced to 鈥榚xtending the crop duration
by an additional 60-90 days beyond the recommended 150-160 days鈥. The extended
crop not only allowed extra generations of PBW survival, but also
intensified selection pressure that lead to resistance development. Reverting
back to short-season cultivars and
implementation
of appropriate management strategies in India and Pakistan will play a vital
role in minimizing the uncertainties and mitigating the impending risks in
cotton production.
p
Read more
The Cotton Water-Footprint Conundrum
Cotton is considered as a
鈥榵erophyte鈥, meaning a plant that needs less water. Cotton is basically
tolerant to drought and heat. The plants circumvent adverse weather due to
their well-distributed root system and indeterminate growth habit. Based on the
crop evapotranspiration ETc rates, water requirement of cotton crop was
reported to be 2.0 mm per day (20,000 litres per hectare) during the vegetative
stage and 6-8 mm per day during flowering and early green boll formation stage
(critical window). Research reports show that cotton crop needs about 80-85% of
the total water requirement during the critical window; and moisture stress
during this time causes serious yield losses. Excessive water during vegetative
and boll opening stages cause lower yields. Irrigation and rainfall data
were obtained from 44 main cotton-growing countries and
analysed by the ICAC to estimate water productivity. The following results were
obtained:
1.
The global average irrigation water usage was
1214 litres to produce 1.0 Kg lint + 2.0 Kg seeds.
2.
The global area under rain-fed cotton is 16.9
million hectares, which is equivalent to 55.7% of the total cotton
acreage.
3.
Rain-fed area contributed to 10.22 million
tonnes of lint, which is equivalent to 41.3% of the total global cotton
production.
4.
About 21.42 million tonnes of lint, which
is equivalent to 87.0% of the total global cotton was produced by using
only 644 litres irrigation water per Kg lint.
Water
productivity can be enhanced by water harvesting, irrigation with precision
timing based on evapotranspiration measurements and optimizing the methods of
water delivery through alternate furrows, or sprinklers or sub-surface drip
irrigation. Soil and moisture conservation methods such as minimum tillage,
mulching, cover crops or intercrops, efficient pest and weed management were reported
to enhance yields, thereby greatly enhancing water use efficiency and water
productivity.
p
Read more
The Yield Puzzle
Cotton
lint yields across the globe range from 180 to 2600 kg/ha but yields
are low in Africa at 180 to 550 kg/ha and India at 480 to 550 kg/ha. While
the yields in Australia were higher than 1,500 kg/ha after 2001, four
major cotton growing countries, namely, Mexico, Brazil, China and
Turkey have been harvesting more than 1,500 kg/ha in recent years. While
yields in these five countries and a few major Mediterranean
countries have been increasing constantly over the past two to three
decades, yields in Africa have been stagnant for more than 25 years. The
world average yields were about 770 kg/ha after 2004. However, the world
average yields (without India and Africa) were above 1,000 kg/ha over the
past 10 years.
High yields in
the subtropical region appear to be due to two major factors; 1) strategic
breeding plans for the development of new varieties that are adaptive for
the local climate and 2) scientific advances in agronomic
management practices. The new varieties were of compact architecture,
short duration (130-160 days), high harvest index and suitable for
machine picking with a narrow critical window (flowering to green boll
formation) of 40-60 days that is crucial for the management of water,
nutrients and bollworms. Agronomic practices ensured proper availability
of water, nutrients and solar radiation in addition to improvisation of
integrated pest management. However, countries in the tropical region have
been growing long-duration (160-210 days) varieties that are bushy
and have low harvest index. Such varieties have a long (80-100 days)
critical window of management that makes it difficult to obtain high yields
without intensive input management and high costs.
India and
Africa could emulate the 鈥榟igh yield鈥 success stories of Australia,
Turkey, Brazil, China and Mexico by experimenting breeding strategies for
the development of short-duration varieties with compact architecture and
high harvest index, coupled with canopy management and better management
practices to enhance 鈥榳ater use efficiency (WUE)鈥, 鈥榥utrient use
efficiency (NUE) and pest management.
p
Read more
Organic Cotton Argument
Organic
agriculture is based on the principles of holistic farming. It embodies the
philosophy of working in consonance with ecology and the environment to
conserve biodiversity and to maintain ecological balance, thereby enhancing the
sustainability of farm ecosystems and environment. The philosophy of organic
cotton is based on the observation that insects and disease problems are an
induced phenomenon known as 鈥榓gricologenic鈥, due to several factors that are influenced
by a chemical environment. Proponents of organic cotton believe that plants in
conventional farms are physiologically unhealthy due to nutrient imbalance.
Further, pesticides also disrupt the natural ecological balance by killing
beneficial insects. Organic cotton farming is based on the concepts of habitat
management and ecological engineering to ensure rejuvenation of soil health for
the production of a healthy crop that is least vulnerable to insects, pests and
diseases. Organic cotton forbids the use of genetically engineered seeds,
chemical fertilisers, synthetic pesticides and chemical plant growth
regulators. Organic cotton farms deploy cropping systems that support pest
management and soil nutrient management. In contrast to conventional farms,
organic cotton soils have more humus content, more organic carbon, and produce
healthy plants. Organic cotton production systems are known to foster healthy
soil, clean water and healthier farm ecosystems, thereby enhancing
sustainability.
According to
data available from the Textile Exchange, in 2016, the global share of organic
cotton production was 0.4% and the area was 1%. In 2016, there were 8,303
organic certification centres and 50-60 brands that marketed organic cotton
across the world. The global production of organic cotton increased from 24,000
tonnes in 2004 to 240,000 tonnes in 2009 but decreased to 108,000 metric tonnes
in 2016. Although 18 countries produce organic cotton, only seven of them
(India, China, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, USA and Tanzania) account for
97% of the total production. India has the largest share with 56% of the global
production. Evidence from India, USA and Turkey shows that if backed by good
science, high yields of more than 1,000 kg per hectare can be obtained. The
current global average yields are low at 375 kg of lint/hectare. The yields may
actually be higher, but the data could reflect low yields due to the fact that
cotton is grown in only a portion of the farm, along with other plants in an
organic farm, unlike the monoculture in conventional farms. The main challenges
in organic cotton are inadequate seed availability, poor quality or
insufficient access to organic inputs, labour intensiveness, weak scientific
support, uncertain price premiums, low yields during the transition period (2-3
years), a tedious certification process, difficult traceability systems, and
contamination possibilities due to coexistence of genetically engineered crops.
To ensure progress, organic cotton farming needs good scientific support
including breeding of robust varieties, creating efficient habitat management
for each of the specific agro-eco regions, developing easier certification,
inexpensive testing, reliable traceability techniques, and by providing risk
mitigation for small-scale farms.
p
Read more
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