UN marks World Cotton Day on 7th October. It has been doing so since 2019. The occasion was started because 4 cotton producers in sub-Saharan Africa came together and appealed for the formation of such a day.
Cotton is the most important of the natural fibers, used daily in apparel and home furnishings. Cotton is a critical means of livelihood for millions of smallholders and their families by providing employment and income. It represents an important source of export revenues for some of the poorest countries in the world. World Cotton Day provides a unique opportunity to renew commitment to a sustainable cotton sector for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and better lives.
The objective of this global celebration is to raise the profile of the cotton sector and create awareness about the important role it plays in economic growth, international trade, and poverty alleviation.
Cotton is an important livelihood that provides employment and income to millions of smallholders, laborers, and their families.
Facts about Cotton
- Cotton exports are an important source of foreign exchange earnings for many low-income countries, helping to offset their food import tariffs.
- Cotton faces a number of uncertainties on both the production and demand sides that must be properly addressed if the sector is to realize its full potential in supporting economic growth and sustainable development.
- The cotton sector at all levels of the value chain is a way to address broader development concerns while empowering women, increasing youth employment, and ensuring decent work for all.
- Mobilizing innovative technologies and resources is essential to ensure the sector remains viable and sustainable.
- More investments are needed to expand the sector beyond raw cotton production, especially to create new income opportunities for farmers, by adding more value to cotton fiber and by-products from other parts of the cotton plant.
- A rules-based, non-discriminatory, open, fair, inclusive, predictable, and transparent international cotton trading system is critical to providing livelihoods to hundreds of millions of vulnerable people around the world.
- It is critical to reducing trad-distorting domestic support measures for cotton and other market distortions that impede the benefits of trade liberalization.
World Cotton day
World Cotton Day celebrates the many benefits of cotton, from its qualities as a natural fiber to the benefits people, derive from its production, transformation, trade, and consumption. The World Trade Organization introduced World Cotton Day on 7 October 2019.
The annual celebration of World Cotton Day provides an opportunity to recognize the importance of cotton as a global commodity grown in 73 countries on five continents and to highlight its central role in creating employment and maintaining economic stability in many Eastern-developed countries.
The celebrations marking the day aim to promote sustainable trade policies and ensure that developing countries benefit more from each step of the cotton value chain.
The event is organized in collaboration with the Secretariats of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). This event stems from Cotton-4’s official application for the recognition of a World Cotton Day by the United Nations General Assembly, reflecting the importance of cotton as a global commodity.
The annual event aims to
- To provide exposure and recognition to cotton and all its stakeholders in production, transformation, and trade.
- Strengthen development assistance for cotton by engaging donors and beneficiaries.
- Seek new collaborations with the private sector and investors for cotton-related industries and production in developing countries.
- Promote technological advancements and further research and development in cotton.