October 7: World Cotton Day

World Cotton Day is observed on October 7 each year to promote the production, transformations, sale and consumption of cotton.

Key facts

  • 2022 marks the third anniversary of World Cotton Day.
  • The theme for this year’s World Cotton Day is “Weaving a better future for cotton”.
  • Its aim is to promote sustainable farming of cotton to help in the development of cotton labourers and small-scale cultivators.

Background

The World Cotton Day celebration was first proposed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) by the Cotton Four – the four cotton producing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which include Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali and Chad. The initiative was launched for the first time on October 7, 2019. The event was jointly organized by the WTO Secretariat and the secretariats of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) and International Trade Centre (ITC). It provided assistance to the Cotton Four and other cotton producing countries in Africa.

Significance

The World Cotton Day aims to increase the value of cotton, which provides a major source of income for many rural labourers, especially women. It provides jobs for over 32 million cultivators, 50 per cent of which is women. It provides economic benefits for around 100 million families across eighty countries in five continents. For the past two years, the World Cotton Day has provided an opportunity for sharing knowledge and best-practices among the cotton producers and traders. It also provides the chance to raise global awareness about cotton and cotton-related products. The day aims to expand the global markets for cotton-producing countries and promote sustainable trade policies that benefits developing countries at all parts of the global cotton value chain. The day seeks to highlight the importance of sustainable economic development, productive employment and decent work opportunities for vulnerable communities.

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