The textile and clothing exports from India continue to swell up; however, the cotton yarn and fabric export submerge creating a harsh situation for the cotton-growing farmers.

India has a glorious history of fine craftsmanship in apparels and textiles. The country is the second largest exporter of textiles and apparels because of the easy availability of raw materials and a manufacturing base, while the easily accessible labour force is like a cherry on the cake. Involving around 45 million people directly, this industry holds the second position after agriculture, in generating employment and creating a source of income in the country. There are other millions of people that are indirectly related to the industry such as the transporters, manufacturers, etc. Apparels and textiles contribute about 7 per cent in the country’s industry output and about 2 per cent in Gross Domestic Production. Also, it holds a share of 15 per cent in country’s total export earnings.

According to the total textile and clothing export data taken from India Brand Equity Foundation (, the exports between April and October in 2018 stood at Rs. 1.52 trillion which is US $ 21.95 billion. The cotton, silk and denims from India have a global appeal and are highly recognised both locally and worldwide. As the ball is in India’s court, the textile and apparel industry beholds the capacity to meet the demands of the indigenous as well as international markets. Reasons such as close links with the agricultural industry for the production of raw materials, presence of base factories for manufacturing and weaving – with a spectrum varying from hand-spun and hand-woven textiles to large scale industries, and affordable labour and skilled manpower add up to the uniqueness of the industry. And not to forget that these reasons also support the fact that the textile sector generates huge employment.

According to the Times of India, the textile and clothing import data saw an upsurge between the years 2015 and 2019 as it grew by 22.8 per cent. While the apparel exports grew to 7.06 per cent this July, as compared to what it was during the same month last year, the cotton yarn and cotton fabric exports declined by 9.98 per cent and 10.54 per cent, respectively, this year. Therefore, it can be said that the textile industry is thinking about the cotton growers of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The USA was supporting Pakistan for the cheaper imports of cotton, which was considered to be a big market for the Indian yarn.

There was wide potential for India to tap the international trade markets with the ongoing trade wars between two of the world’s economic giants namely, the USA and China. But due to the ongoing in-house hustle of levied taxes and revising the import export duties, Indian farmers witnessed a major hit. So the immediate competitors such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have the cost advantage over Indian exporters.

Author's Bio: 

Sonali Ahuja is the content contributor at Apparel Resources who writes about the latest news and updates of the apparel, fashion and textile industry. Her articles are based on the dynamics of changing fashion trends, real time apparel industry.