In virtually every cotton-producing country on the planet, growers are … well, growing older. Agriculture as a whole isn’t faring well vs. “big city careers” in the struggle to attract dedicated young workers, and that fact is as serious a threat to cotton’s long-term viability as any other factor, including competition from food crops and synthetics.
That’s why the ICAC will be addressing this and several other “non-traditional” cotton industry topics during its 72nd Plenary Meeting, to be held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, Sept. 29-Oct. 4.
The Third Open Session will specifically address the demographic characteristics of cotton producers, ginners, merchants and engineers in the textile industry and provide opportunities to discuss how these career opportunities can be enhanced.
“The average age of cotton farmers in Colombia has climbed to 57, and this pattern is observed worldwide as young people see greater economic opportunities in urban professions,” says Terry Townsend, ICAC executive director. “It is self-evident that if cotton is to remain a sustainable and economically viable industry, remunerative employment opportunities and exciting career challenges must be offered in the cotton value chain.”
The conference’s agenda provides an opportunity for full participation in plenary meeting dialogue through a World Café during the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 1, as well as a follow-up World Café session on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
The event’s agenda also includes regional caucus meetings on Friday morning, a new component of the ICAC agenda. This will allow time for delegates from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe to confer on joint implementation of strategies discussed during the plenary meeting.
Registration for the 72nd Plenary Meeting will begin on May 1, 2013, at http://ICAC.org.