Cotton output could slip to 295 lakh bales

Written by Commodities Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Jan 9 2009, 03:36am hrs
Cotton crop for the season 2008-09 is expected to reach in the range of 285-295 lakh bales (175 kg each) mainly due to untimely rain and pest attack in some parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat, said PD Patodia, president, Cotton Association of India (CAI).

In the beginning of the season, the preliminary estimates of Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) set up by the government placed cotton production at 322 lakh bales, although the area planted for cotton in 2008-09 was estimated lower by 5% to about 92 lakh hectare.

There is volatility in every aspects of world economy which has impacted all businesses, be in India or elsewhere and cotton is no exception. In the global economic slowdown, the abnormally high MSPs fixed by the government for the current cotton season has further aggravated the conditions in the cotton sector, he said.

The advent of BT cotton in the country has been up as increasing number of farmers turn to it for better returns. This has led to a drop in the production of short and long staple cotton. Lower production has fuelled the prices of short staple cotton by 20%. Our association is actively coordinating with seed manufacturers to develop new variety of short staple BT cotton soon. The Indian council of agricultural research (ICAR) is in the process of developing the variety, which will, perhaps, be the first such variety in the world, he said.