Source: financialexpress.com

Atul Ganatra, president, CAI said that the Centre has allocated Rs 440 crore towards “Cotton Quality Improvement Mission” to improve quality and yields. Although India has the highest area under cotton, the yield is among the lowest in the world, he said.

By: FE Bureau | June 08, 2021

With cotton commanding prices as high as Rs 7,500 per quintal, the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and the Cotton Association of India (CAI) have come together to educate farmers to increase cultivation across the country and also raise yields. Normally, around 110 lakh-120 hectare area comes under cotton cultivation in India.

Atul Ganatra, president, CAI said that the Centre has allocated Rs 440 crore towards “Cotton Quality Improvement Mission” to improve quality and yields. Although India has the highest area under cotton, the yield is among the lowest in the world, he said. He was addressing a virtual meeting of stakeholders to improve cotton yields across the country. The ‘Cotton Mission’ is currently under discussion and meetings have been held by the stakeholders with the Textile Committee of India.

The Textile Committee’s office has asked for a list of cotton ginners across the country so that they can become part of the project. The minimum support price (MSP)of cotton in the outgoing season was Rs 5,825 per quintal. During the cotton season of 2020-21, CCI had procured 92 lakh bales under MSP operations and nearly 1 crore bales in the season of 2019-20.

Arvind Pant of the Gujarat Cotton Association said that the area under cotton in Gujarat is likely to go up by 10-12% despite oilseeds commanding high price. Government procurement plays a big role in ensuring farmers stick to cotton, he said.

Mahesh Sarda of the North India Cotton Association pointed out that price is the biggest deciding factor for the farmer who would look for better returns. The price realisations of cotton and groundnut need to be compared, he said, adding that sowing in some parts of Rajasthan and Haryana has been around 5% less this kharif.

Pradeep Jain, president, Khandesh Cotton Ginners/Pressers Association said that ginners in Maharashtra have been working on improving cotton yields for last 8-10 years and a booklet of best practices has also been distributed to farmers through the ‘Ginner at Your Doorstep’ initiative. The response has not been very positive he said.

Ashok Patil, a farmer from Jalgaon said that he managed to get 28 quintal per acre yield from his farm and offered his services to both the bodies. In Maharashtra, it is expected that over 40 lakh hectares will record sowing of cotton and soybean. Maharashtra accounts for over 30% of the cotton grown in the country but state farmers fail to compete with their counterparts in Rajasthan, Gujarat or Telangana, both in per hectare yield and produce.

Jayesh Mahajan, senior official of the Maharashtra Cooperative Cotton Growers Federation had earlier pointed out how the per hectare yield of cotton in Maharashtra is between 8-9 quintals as compared to the 14-15 quintals/hectare yields nationally. Worldwide, cotton growers see much higher yields of 24-25 quintal/hectare, with US farmers reporting 55 quintal/hectares.

(Source: financialexpress.com)