Why Xinjiang is one of the world's most suitable regions for cotton-planting?
By Yu Bokun

Despite all the disputes about Xinjiang's cotton lately, there is no doubt that the region can churn out the finest fiber in the world.

Situated in northwestern China, Xinjiang's natural ecological conditions make it one of the world's most suitable region for cotton-planting.

The cotton production hub saw annual cotton production of more than 500 million tonnes, thanks to its dry climate with long periods of sunshine and little rain.

Access to sunshine is also necessary for production and maturing of the fiber.

According to South African Cotton Textile Manufacturers Association, sunshine hours of 60-90 percent of the day length are required for successful development during the growing season. The daily average percentage of sunshine in Xinjiang fall between 60 and 80 percent.

Meanwhile, the temperature differences between day and night also makes it suitable for planting sea-island cotton, believed to be the best in the world. 

China is the world's largest cotton consumer and also the biggest exporter of textile products. The country imports two-three million tonnes of cotton a year to meet demand.

Xinjiang cotton is considered the highest quality and meets more than 30 percent of the country's entire cotton need.

Modern technology also plays an important role in expanding production as harvesting machines in the region have basically replaced cotton pickers.

Up to 75 percent of the region's cotton was harvested by machine in 2020, according to the latest data from China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

In addition, Xinjiang has more than 10,000 pieces of agricultural equipment supported by satellite navigation services provided by China's BeiDou system, with over 5,000 unmanned aerial vehicles being used to provide farming services to 1.3 million hectares of farmland in the region.

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