The country’s cotton production is expected to increase by 3.8% in 2016-17 from a year ago, owing to a sharp growth in yield following a good monsoon.
The Cotton Advisory Board (CAB), at its meeting held in Mumbai, estimated that the domestic cotton production could reach 351 lakh bales bales of 170 kg each for the cotton year 2016-17. The cotton year starts on October 1 every year. The output of cotton was 338 lakh bales last year. Significantly, the total area under cultivation has fallen to 86.1 lakh hectares in 2016-17 from 106.8 lakh hectares in 2015-16. There was an increase in the area under non-Bt cotton from 11.9 lakh hectares in 2015-16 to 18.9 lakh hectares in 2016-17.
Textiles Commissioner Kavita Gupta stated that the shift might change next year on account of a changing weather pattern. “We are estimating a bumper cotton crop this year because of a better monsoon and no pest attacks,” Gupta said. Last year, the domestic production of cotton was hit severely in Punjab and Haryana due to whitefly attacks and the pink bollworm attack in Gujarat. A normal monsoon this year has helped germination of cotton pods in almost the entire country. The Cotton Board has estimated a 17.47% growth in yield to 568.29 kg per hectare in 2016-17 from 483.79 kg per hectare in 2015-16. The average yield in Punjab is likely to rise to 597.66 kg per hectare in 2016-17 from 376.11 kg per hectare in 2015-16.
Following advisories by the governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to farmers to shift to other crops, the total area under cotton declined by 12 % to 105 lakh hectares in 2016-17, from 118.8 lakh hectares in 2015-16.
Consumption of cotton by mills is estimated to remain unchanged at 275 lakh bales and the closing cotton stock is projected to be 48 lakh bales in 2016-17, up from 43 lakh bales in the previous year. With higher production expected from the northern and western states, India’s cotton production for this year (October 2016 to September 2017) is expected to be 351 lakh bales compared with 338 lakh bales in the year that just ended.