World Cotton Day Date in the current year: October 7, 2024

World Cotton Day World Cotton Day is a United Nations international day that is observed annually on October 7. It was created to highlight the importance of cotton as a major source of incomes and livelihoods in some of the poorest rural areas in the world.

Cotton is a white and fluffy fiber consisting of mostly cellulose that grows around the seeds of the cotton plants, protecting them. The cotton plants make up the genus Gossypium in the mallow family. They are native to tropical and subtropical regions across the globe.

Cotton was independently domesticated in the Old and New Worlds. Due to its resistance to climatic changes, cotton can be planted in dry and arid zones, although it grows best in fairly heavy soils and areas with a moderate rainfall, plenty of sunshine, and a long frost-free period. The world’s largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world is the South Plains, comprising 24 counties in northwest Texas.

Cotton fiber is most often used to make soft, breathable, durable, and hypoallergenic textile products. In addition to the textile industry, cotton fiber is used to produce coffee filters, cotton paper, fishing nets, nitrocellulose, and tents. Other parts of the plant are used to produce animal feed, cosmetic and edible oils, and biofuel.

As of 2020, the world’s top 10 cotton-producing countries were China, India, the United States, Brazil, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Argentina, Burkina Faso, and Benin; the top five exporters were India, the United States, China, Brazil, and Pakistan.

Cotton is a massively important commodity and a major source of livelihoods and incomes for more than 100 million families in 75 countries on five continents. The cotton industry is an important source of revenue in some of the least developed African countries, for example, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali (known collectively as “Cotton Four”).

The celebration of World Cotton Day was initiated in 2019 by a group of cotton-producing countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali). They originally pitched the idea to the World Trade Organization, but eventually it also won the support of the United Nations. On August 30, 2021, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming October 7 as World Cotton Day.

The main goal of World Cotton Day is to highlight the role of the cotton industry in economic development, poverty alleviation, and international trade, as well as to raise awareness of the fact that cotton provides livelihoods for up to a billion people throughout the world, including 100 million families of small farmers in developing countries, who often struggle to take their product to the market and get paid what they deserve.

World Cotton Day is marked by various events and activities that raise awareness about the role of cotton among the general public, showcase the achievements of the industry, and highlight the importance of providing support to small cotton producers in developing countries, who find it difficult to compete with developed economies and face various trade barriers.

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World Cotton Day, international observances, UN observances, cotton growing, cotton industry, cotton fiber