Surgical cotton gets the boost, Indian Express
Surgical cotton or absorbent cotton is in great demand all over the world, but with desi cotton considered ideal raw material for it being edged out, manufacturers have been banking heavily on regular American cotton.
The Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) here is now working towards partnering with farmers and absorbent cotton manufacturers for promoting organic desi cotton as raw material.
The CICR has already started producing desi cotton seeds to be distributed to a select group of farmers — who are going to have assured buyers offering good price.
“We have discussed it with many manufacturers. They are ready to pay up to Rs. 4,000 per quintal. For now, we will emphasize on the idea in Vidarbha and parts of Madhya Pradesh where farmers around villages near surgical cotton units will be encouraged to produce organic desi varieties with an assured high price,” said CICR director Keshav Kranthi.
One such unit has come up recently near Nagpur.
Prakash Rathi, owner of Rathi Chemicals, is partnering in the venture with CICR. The Central Institute for Research in Cotton Technology (CIRCOT), Mumbai, will be another stakeholder in the process of converting raw cotton into finished product.
“As of now, the companies in India are using Bengal Cotton, a desi variety being produced mainly in north-east and Rajasthan, to manufacture surgical cotton. But it requires chemical treatment. What we are looking at is having organic desi varieties that will eliminate the need for chemical treatment. We have certain microbes that can be used,” Kranthi said.
Another advantage with desi cotton is its low input cost. “It requires less input since it has traditionally come to withstand hard Indian conditions", Kranthi said.
He says because organic cotton is devoid of chemicals, it is ideally the most-suited cotton for manufacturing absorbent cotton. “And anything organic has a great demand in Europe, so the produce will also have a great export potential,” he adds.
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