Second World Cotton Day celebrates cotton as a unique crop

  • 07 October 2020
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The day was instituted by the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2019.

The day provides cotton organisations, advocacy groups, investors and beneficiaries a platform to educate peers and consumers on the positive impact that cotton can have on transforming consumption, production, development and trade. This year’s theme is: “Celebrating the uniqueness of cotton, the only crop that is both a fibre and a food crop”.

Events around the globe will emphasize the sustainability of cotton and highlight the facts on cotton production while also countering the many industry myths. According to Kai Huges, Executive Director of ICAC, the day affords the industry with an exceptional opportunity to unite the global industry in order to drive mass awareness around the significant role cotton plays in the world economy and our everyday lives.

A South African affair

Cotton SA is celebrating the day with two key events running concurrently. These will include a live-streamed Webinar and a face-to-face media engagement session. During the webinar, presenters – which include local and international cotton leaders, will cover global cotton trends while primarily focusing on the local market. Information will also be shared on innovative technology (cultivars and equipment) and the importance of crop management (planting, weather, managing pesticides, the cotton planting cycle and the processing of cotton from farm to fashion).

Other South African activities that will take place in celebration of this unique fibre, are two cotton focused programmes, one in English with Tony Ndoro as the host, and one in Afrikaans with Theo Vorster as host, to be broadcasted on www.techterrain.co.za. This platform is sponsored by John Deere and has more than a million followers.

Did you know?

Cotton is constantly surprising people with its applications and abilities. We’ve taken the time to write up a few interesting facts about cotton that you probably did not know.

  • Cotton has been around for a very long time and seeds dating back to 450 BC were found in Peru. The earliest reports of cotton growing in South Africa date back to 1516.
  • All of the cotton plant is used, there is no waste. While fibre is the primary reason for growing cotton, the seeds are used for animal feed and human use (cottonseed oil). The plant stalks are tilled back in the soil after harvesting.
  • A single cotton bale can produce approximately 200 pairs of denim jeans or 670 t-shirts.
  • The word ‘cotton’ is derived from ‘Qutun’, an Arabic word. In Middle Dutch it was also known as “cotton” and with the development of Afrikaans as a spoken language, it became “catoen” and eventually “katoen”.
  • Cotton grows naturally in different colours, namely: white, brown, pink and green.





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