The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pakistan has teamed up with the Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute (PCSI) and the Ministry of Textile Industry to try to improve the competitiveness of the domestic cotton sector.

The collaboration will promote the standardisation of cotton among the participating small and medium-sized ginners. 

It also aims to bring cotton parameters in line with global standards, as well as ensuring better returns for cotton farmers, ginners, spinners, exporters and Pakistan's economy. 

Under the agreement, WWF-Pakistan and PCSI will carry out activities to improve cotton fibre quality, promote better ginning practices, and enhance the capacity of the ginners to improve cotton fibre quality.

The promotion of better ginning practices will benefit thousands of cotton farmers, ginning SMEs and the textile processing sector, according to Dr Ghulam Akbar, senior director programs WWF-Pakistan. 

While Shahid Rasheed, Federal Secretary Textile Industries, adds that the project provides an opportunity for the local textile industry to align itself with global standards.

Pakistan is the world's fourth largest cotton producer and its third largest consumer, as well as the largest exporter of cotton yarn and fabrics. Cotton and its textile products exports contribute about 60% to national export earnings.

WWF-Pakistan is the country's largest environmental non-profit organisation. It has also been involved with the EU's Switch-Asia Program on 'Sustainable cotton production in Pakistan's cotton ginning SMEs' (also called SPRING). This is focused on developing a sustainable cotton supply chain from the farm to final product.