India is the third-largest cotton textile manufacturing country in the world after the USA and UK. It is also the third-largest exporter of cotton textiles. Nearly 40% of the country’s labour force is supported by this major industry. In India, Many cotton textile industries are located in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu.
They produce three-fourths of the total output of yarn. The remaining one-fourth is produced by West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.
The cotton textile industry is located in almost all the Indian states. About half of the total cotton mills are located in Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Mumbai is known as the ‘cottonpolis’ of India as it is the most important centre of cotton production.
Mumbai and Ahmedabad have emerged as the most important manufacturing centres because of the following reasons:
- Both cities are located close to the cotton-growing areas of the Deccan Plateau.
- Humid coastal climates have favoured the establishment of industries in both cities.
- Connectivity of Mumbai and Ahmedabad by rail and road routes to cotton-growing regions and by sea routes to foreign markets.
- Mumbai is the main port city and Ahmedabad uses port facilities from Kandla.
- Many big and large financial centres are located in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
- The power supply in Mumbai and Ahmedabad is mostly regular. While power is supplied by the Tata hydroelectric system in Mumbai, Ukai and Kakrapara hydroelectric projects supply electricity to Gujarat.
Problems Faced by Cotton Textile Industries in India
- The yarn in India is produced by small industries and units which largely cater to the local markets. Thus, while many spinners export cotton yarn, many garment manufacturers have to import fabric. Therefore, there is a mismatch between the two.
- Most of the machinery installed in the cotton mills is outdated and needs to be replaced.
- Irregular power supply has hampered production.
- Uncertainty in procuring raw materials, low labour productivity, lack of modernization, etc. are some problems because of which sugar industries are running into loss.
- The cotton industry is facing tough competition from the fibre industry.
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