All Challenges

Significantly enhancing sustainability of cotton cultivation

Relevant regions : China | India | Pakistan |

Cotton represents about 20% of all fibers used for textiles and over 75% of all natural fibers used. Annually, over 25 million tons of cotton fiber are produced for textiles and apparel.

Cotton consumes significant amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides, thus contributing significantly to both the carbon footprint as well as the ecological footprint of textiles and apparel.

Efforts that can significantly enhance sustainability of cotton cultivation will thus have a powerful positive effect on the sustainability of the textile and fashion industry as a whole. 

Stakeholders

  • Digital solution providers for textiles industry
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Financial investors
  • National and regional policy makers
  • NGOs
  • Sourcing professionals
  • Testing and standards professionals
  • Textile education professionals
  • Textile fiber cultivation professional
  • Textile industry sustainability professionals
  • Challenge questions

    How can organic cotton cultivation be made more cost effective?

    Dec-2020

    Organic cotton costs more than conventional cotton because the inputs, systems and processes used for organic cotton cultivation costs more per Kg of organic cotton produced, compared to conventional cotton.

    How can the costs of organic cotton cultivation be reduced to make the price of organic cotton competitive with that of conventional?

    Stakeholders : City and local administration , Sourcing professionals , Textile fiber cultivation professional ,

    What kind of upskilling programmes enable farmers in enhancing sustainability of cotton cultivation?

    Dec-2020

    Organizations such as the Better Cotton Initiative have already shown how focussed capacity development and training programs can dramatically enhance the sustainability of cotton cultivation. While an excellent start has been made through the efforts of these organizations, significant scope exists for improvement in training and skill development of cotton farmers to enhance the overall sustainability of cultivation.

    Stakeholders : Textile education professionals , Textile fiber cultivation professional ,

    What are some commercially available innovative solutions to improve water use efficiency?

    Dec-2020

    Cotton uses significant amounts of water for its cultivation. Solutions and technologies that can significantly lower cotton cultivation’s water footprint will hence go a long way in enhancing its sustainability.

    Stakeholders : Digital solution providers for textiles industry , Entrepreneurs , Machinery and equipment makers , Researchers or innovators , Textile fiber cultivation professional ,

    What eco-friendly practices have the potential to significantly increase the yield of cotton crops?

    Dec-2020

    One of the challenges with sustainable practices such as organic farming have been the relatively lower yields that have been reported at least in the initial few years. How can organic and other sustainable farming methods start providing yields comparable to or better than conventional farming?

    Stakeholders : NGOs , Researchers or innovators , Textile education professionals , Textile fiber cultivation professional ,

    How can technology advances such as hybridization, bioinformatics and genetic engineering play a role in making cotton cultivation more sustainable?

    Dec-2020

    Hybridization has been used for a long time in cotton cultivation; genetic engineering also played a role in increasing cotton yields for many years now. Other advances in biosciences and biotechnology could soon start playing an important role too in making cotton cultivation more sustainable. 

    Stakeholders : Digital solution providers for textiles industry , IT manager , Researchers or innovators , Testing and standards professionals , Textile fiber cultivation professional ,

    How can optimal intercropping practices enhance environmental sustainability of cotton cultivation and result in higher returns for farmers?

    Dec-2020

    Like many crops, intercropping is possible for cotton too, and this process, if done in a well-researched manner, could result in higher yields, benefits to the soil and also enhanced revenues to farmers

    Stakeholders : Researchers or innovators , Textile education professionals , Textile fiber cultivation professional ,

    How well can smart and precision farming practices enhance sustainability of cotton cultivation?

    Dec-2020

    Cotton cultivation is plagued by its large amounts of water use and use of fertilizers and pesticides. But there’s a large scope for improving cotton cultivation’s environmental impact, especially through the use of technologies such as precision farming that enable comparable or better yields but by using significantly lower (optimal) inputs.

    Stakeholders : NGOs , Researchers or innovators , Textile fiber cultivation professional ,