ITF presents textile and clothing sector development plans to the textile minister

The Coimbatore-based Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF) has submitted plans for the textile and apparel sector to Textile Minister Giriraj Singh for growth. One of the suggestions was to double cotton yields to 1,000 kg per hectare. The federation represents the entire textile value chain in Tamil Nadu, with 500 manufacturing units.

Improving cotton yield to 1,000 kg per hectare can be a game-changer for the entire textile value chain and also boost farmers’ income. The current yield of 450-500 kg/ha in India is one of the lowest compared to other producing countries like the US, China, Australia and West Africa, said federation coordinator D Prabhu, who met the minister in Delhi on Tuesday.

China plus one

The federation said that with the right policies and directional changes, India can leverage the China plus One opportunity in apparel exports and improve the current monthly apparel export rate of $1.5 billion in a sustainable manner. In comparison, China’s monthly apparel export rate currently stands at $12 billion.

To capture a larger share of the US synthetic clothing market, which currently stands at 2% and is estimated to be worth $35 billion, India needs to forge knowledge-based collaborations with countries specializing in MMF, as well as similar efforts within Indian clusters.

As part of its efforts to diversify its market, India should work with non-traditional markets like Japan, which has a potential of $23 billion. The team has come up with the idea of ​​selecting five export companies from five major clusters and taking them by the hand as a team. This will give them a positive mindset and experience towards these markets, Prabhu said.

Satellite mapping of cotton crops, new plans to boost e-commerce fashion exports and structural issues like import duty on cotton, inverted duty structure on MMF were also discussed in detail. Satellite mapping is a scientific way to know the crop yield and such data will reduce speculation on production and help farmers and industry take right decisions, he said.

E-commerce in fashion

Fashion e-commerce exports are an opportunity for SMEs to reach out to a global audience at lower costs and also with better margins. Both the central and state textile ministries can set up a separate cell to support SME apparel and home textile manufacturers to build a business structure in this fashion e-commerce space, he said.

The inverted duty structure on MMF was 18 per cent for fibre; 12 per cent for yarn and 5 per cent for fabric. Greater efficiency can be achieved in the organic MMF production system by rationalising the duty structure, he said.

The minister assured that he would take comprehensive measures to increase exports of textiles and garments to create more employment and also that preparation of a specific action plan to increase cotton yield would be one of the priorities, Prabu said.