India has been producing cotton for textiles for thousands of years and the textile industry and agriculture are the key industries to have generated huge employment for both skilled and unskilled labour, helping to strengthen the country’s economy. The cotton sector is considered to be the second most developed sector in the textile industry (after man-made fibres), and India is now the second largest producer of cotton in the world (after China), producing around 18% of the world’s cotton. It also has the largest area under cotton cultivation in the world, representing about 25% of the world area under cotton cultivation. For Better Cotton to become a sustainable mainstream commodity, it is vital that BCI continue to work closely with the Indian Better Cotton supply chain as our membership base continues to grow, to give all members access to this significant market.

Who grows Better Cotton?

India has the largest number of farmers participating in the BCI Programme and growing Better Cotton. In the 2018-19 cotton season, 684,274 BCI Farmers produced 652,000 tonnes of Better Cotton on 785,000 hectares, a considerable increase in both farmer numbers and cotton volumes, compared to the 2017-18 cotton season.

Find out more about the success, challenges and key changes that happened in the 2018-19 cotton season in the Better Cotton Country Snapshots.

Who are BCI’s Implementing Partners in India?

Cotton Connect India, Trident Ltd | Arvind, Vardhman | Basil Commodities Pvt.Ltd | SIPL | Pratibha Syntext Ltd. | Mahima | STAC INDIA | K.K. Fibres | WWF-India | Deshpande Foundation | Action for Food Production (AFPRO) | Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) | Participatory Rural Development Initiatives Society (PRDIS) | MYRADA Kaveri Pradeshika Samsthe (MYKAPS) | Coastal Salinity Prevention Cell (CSPC) | Udyansh Gramin Samaj Sewa Samiti (UGSSS MP) | Lupin Human Welfare And Research Foundation | Farmer Association For Rural Management (FARM) | Bharat Cotton | Vrutti | Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) | Aga Khan Rural Support Programme-India (AKRSPI) | Development Support Centre (DSC) | Puneet Enterprises.

When is cotton grown in India?

Cotton is sown from May to July and harvested from October to January, depending on the local conditions.

Stories from the Field

BCI Farmers in India form their own farmer-owned collective and improve their livelihoods. Read the story.

Find out how a cotton farmer from India defied the odds to embrace natural farming methods. Read more here.