Director General  QU Dongyu
Declaración del Director General de la FAO Qu Dongyu
Solo es auténtico el texto pronunciado

7 October 2019

World Cotton Day

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, chairperson:


I am pleased to join you today, and share with you FAO’s visions and perspective on the importance of cotton and its significant contribution to Agenda 2030 and the SDGs.

Let me stress in the beginning, that cotton represents so much more than just a commodity: It is a culture, a way of life, and a tradition that finds its roots at the heart of human civilization. In the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, for example, the techniques of producing indigo clothes have been passed down from mother to daughter over generations.

At FAO we look at the cotton industry from many angles:


In our quest to fight poverty, we look at the global cotton industry as a source of income for 100 million family farmers across 75 countries. Internationally, it is also an important source of export earnings.

In the battle to eliminate hunger, the cotton sector empowers households and communities to meet their food security and nutritional needs. Also, the production of food increases in areas where cotton is grown.

From the perspective of rural development, cotton provides employment and income for some of the poorest or most remote rural areas in the world.

Yet, the sector faces a number of challenges, such as the adverse effects of climate change and volatile market prices. We need to transform these challenges into opportunities.

We need to do things differently, explore innovative approaches and new ideas, revisit our policies and aim at pro-poor outcomes.

We need new technologies to boost efficiency at every stage of the cotton value chain, while reducing resource use and environmental impact. This will require a boost in investments in value addition to create jobs and raise incomes for rural communities.

It is critical that the sector meets the highest standards of sustainability at all stages of the value chain. This includes the three dimensions of sustainability – economic, social and environmental.

At FAO, we work for a sustainable cotton sector. This includes generating knowledge products on sustainable agronomic practices, presenting market outlooks for the world cotton sector, and producing relevant policy information.

FAO also promotes sharing innovative practices and transferring knowledge for a sustainable cotton sector through South-South Cooperation.


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,


As a son of farmers, I know what a great impact even the smallest improvements in the conditions of life in villages and on farms mean.

As a citizen of the world, I believe in the bright future that we can build together globally, for a more productive and sustainable cotton sector.

As Director-General of FAO, I can assure you that we are committed to join efforts with all of you!

In FAO food is central, food in quantity, quality and diversity. But also commodities that bring added value.


I wish you a happy World Cotton Day!


Thank you!