A single metric tonne of cotton provides jobs for five people on average, often in some of the world’s most impoverished regions, that adds up around 100 million families across the globe.
Cotton is an important means of livelihood for millions of smallholders and attracts export revenues to some of the poorest countries.
This makes the sector a key contributor to reaching the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For the UN, this natural fabric “represents so much more than just a commodity”, it is “a life-changing product.”
Cotton is a major source of income for many rural labourers, including women. With this World Day, the UN wants to raise awareness of the critical role that cotton plays in economic development, international trade and poverty alleviation.
The initiative also wants to highlight the importance of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.
As a crop resistant to climatic changes, cotton can be planted in dry and arid zones. It occupies just 2.1 percent of the world’s arable land, but it meets 27 percent of the world’s textile needs.—TLTP