The European Union (EU) has launched a new program in Pakistan to support the development of a sustainable cotton supply chain from the farm to final product – including links with leading retailers and brands.
The four-year scheme – which is called SPRING (sustainable cotton production in Pakistan ginning SMEs) is being funded under the regional Switch Asia initiative, and will be implemented by WWF-Pakistan.
With cotton ginning SMEs in Pakistan one of its main areas of focus, the project hopes to show ginners the importance of sustainable cotton production, develop links to farmers and producers of better cotton, and encourage the uptake of more efficient and sustainable practices.
There are also plans to develop links with leading EU cotton retailers and brands through the support of key stakeholders such as the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), Small & Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), Pakistan Cotton Standards Association (PCSI), National Textile University (NTU) and Cleaner Production Institute (CPI).
“I am glad to see Pakistan benefiting from the European Union Switch Asia regional initiative,” said Pierre Mayaudon, EU acting ambassador to Pakistan.
“Given the importance of cotton in the agriculture and industry of Pakistan, not to mention its overall cultural impact, [there is] no doubt that this new program has the potential to positively influence the livelihood of Pakistani farmers and families.”
The project is “vital in improving the environmental and process efficiency of the ginning sector,” added Aman Ullah Qureshi, chairman of the Pakistan Ginners Association.