The next 76th Plenary Meeting of International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) would be hosted by
Uzbekistan in October 2017.
The announcement to this effect was made during the concluding
session of the 75th Plenary Meeting on “Emerging Dynamics in Cotton:
Enhancing Sustainability in the Cotton Value Chain” here Friday.
“The committee accepted an offer from Uzbekistan to host the
76th Plenary on dates to be determined during October 2017,” said a statement issued on the conclusion of the 75th meeting.
The committee decided to hold the 2017 technical seminar on
the topic of “Opportunities and Challenges for Technology Transfer in Cotton.”
Meanwhile, the ICAC thanked the people, organizing committee
and the government of Pakistan for their warm hospitality in serving as host of the 75th Plenary Meeting here.
It said that the delegates commented very favourably on the quality of the venue and the social events, as well as the efficiency of the host country in preparing for the plenary meeting.
It is pertinent to mention here that the previous 74th meeting
of the ICAC was held in Mumbai India on the topic of “From Farm to Fabric: The Many Faces of Cotton.”
The conference identified three basic challenges faced by the cotton
sector including water, energy and creative ideas and urged for taking steps to develop less water consuming varieties and introducing new technologies.
A report presented on the occasion by the ICAC Secretariat observed
that the world average net cost of production (excluding land cost) of cotton lint was US$1.16/kg in 2015/16.
The ICAC took note of the outcome of the 2015 United Nations Climate
Change Conference (COP21), held in Paris, France, which produced sound recommendations to contain the negative effects of climate change.
It urged for collaborative efforts were required to tackle the climate
change problem,urging for conducting research in draught conditions as well as in waterlogged situations.
The conference urged for changing the pest control methods as the
biotech cotton has changed the pest complex in many countries.
It observed that the pink bollworm and the whitefly caused huge
losses in yield in India and Pakistan during 2015, demanding a reversion to traditional varieties of cotton and traditional methods of insect control in some countries.
According to ICAC report, government support to the cotton sector fell
from record levels but remained high.
ICAC’s annual report on government measures supporting the cotton
sector shows that these reached US$7.2 billion in 2015/16, down 30% from a record of US$10.7 billion in 2014/15.
The Committee noted that the Nairobi Ministerial Conference of the
World Trade Organization, held in December 2015, had adopted a decision on cotton prohibiting export subsidies and calling for a further reduction in domestic support.
The decision also calls for improvements to market access for least
developed countries (LDCs).
The objective of the decision was to level the playing field for cotton exporters in the poorest countries, where the cotton sector is of vital importance.
The Committee reaffirmed the importance of trade policy as a driver in
the promotion of world economic growth and development, and voiced support for a multilateral trading system under the aegis of the WTO.
It maintained that the Public policies for cotton must avoid distorting the market, emphasizing that cotton faces a grave threat from man made fibers, especially polyester.
In order to compete, cotton producers must innovate, adopt and
implement cutting edge technologies that improve productivity at lower costs.
It urged the ICAC member governments to take steps to ensure compliance with arbitral awards.
ICAC Members were informed that the terms of accession of the European
Union had been mutually agreed and were now in the process of being approved by the European Commission and the European Parliament.
In addition, Bangladesh had submitted a request for membership. The
terms of accession of that important cotton importer had been agreed and Bangladesh was taking the internal measures to finalize its inclusion among the members of the ICAC.
The Committee decided to hold the 2017 Technical Seminar on the topic
of “Opportunities and Challenges for Technology Transfer in Cotton”.
The Committee accepted an offer from Uzbekistan to host the 76th
Plenary on dates to be determined during October 2017.
The Committee thanked the people, the Organizing Committee and the
Government of Pakistan for their warm hospitality in serving as host of the 75th Plenary Meeting.