Natural fibres backbone of textile industry, says minister

Natural fibres are the backbone of Indian textile industry, said agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh. Singh noted that despite stiff competition from synthetic fibres, the demand for natural fibres is steadily increasing with a growing population. 

Natural fibre production involves millions of farmers and the industries using them create rural jobs - F2F

As chair of the national conference on ‘Productivity and Product Diversification Challenges for Natural Fibres’ at Textiles India 2017, Singh said that given the limitation in increasing area under cultivation, the only way to improve production is increasing 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.

Chairing a session on ‘Potential of Man-Made Fibre in India’, Union minister for chemicals and fertilisers Ananth Kumar Singh said that man-made fibres (MMF) are gaining wide applications in both conventional and technical textiles. Considering the global shift towards man-made fibres, 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 to be in the following broad areas: import substitution, growing segments in international trade and domestic market opportunities. He added that a group will be formed for synergy between his ministry and ministry of textiles, for addressing challenges and opportunities jointly.

Sharing her thoughts as chair of a session on making India a sourcing hub and investment destination for the world, Union minister for commerce & 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 is a very big market, the minister said that the industry needs 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 is an integral part of both Make in India and textiles India. Rudy said that a key question facing the skill sector is that of creating a basic first-level skilling ecosystem in the country.

Citing examples of various beneficiaries, the minister highlighted the need for short-term skilling programmes, and formal interventions for skilled manpower. He said that work is 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 relates to the skilling requirements of the country. 

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