Crushers seek scientific processing of cottonseed

By: | Published: July 20, 2017 3:03 AM

With an expected cotton output of 380 lakh bales in the cotton season for 2017-18, over 125 lakh tonne of cottonseed is likely to become available to the industry for cottonseed extraction.

cottonseed, cotton, agricultureThe 1,500-odd domestic cottonseed processors have been urging the union government to come up with a ‘special package.

With an expected cotton output of 380 lakh bales in the cotton season for 2017-18, over 125 lakh tonne of cottonseed is likely to become available to the industry for cottonseed extraction. Keeping this in mind, crushers across the country are seeking scientific processing of cottonseed against the traditional method in which cottonseeds are mechanically crushed without delinting or dehulling.

The production of 380 lakh bales of cotton presents a tremendous opportunity for the sector since cottonseed cake or meal is an important feed ingredient for milch cattle. It is one of the best protein concentrate feeds for such animals said Sandeep Bajoria, chairman, All India Cottonseed Crushers Association.

According to Bajoria, about 92-93% of the cottonseed processed in the country are through traditional methods, resulting in enormous loss of precious cottonseed oil and the resultant loss to the exchequer in terms of crores of rupees.

The 1,500-odd domestic cottonseed processors have been urging the union government to come up with a ‘special package’, which can help the industry upgrade its technology to encourage scientific processing of cotton seed and also form a right kind of ecosystem.

Currently, only 5 % of the total cotton seed availability is scientifically processed and this results in losses in terms of oil as well as other byproducts. Cotton seed contains about 19 per cent of oil.

The unscientific processing yields only 12 % of oil. This results in wastage of oil worth Rs 4,050 crore. It also results in loss of linters worth Rs 1,100 crore and hulls of about Rs 4,000 crore, as per industry reports.

In total, as much as Rs 9,000 crore worth of oil and other by-products annually cannot be recovered due to traditional (nonscientific) way of processing, which involves simple mechanical crushing of the seed, without putting it through the process of delinting and dehulling. Due to this primitive nature of processing, not only the oil yield is low but it is also often of inferior quality.

Besides, due to lack of proper supply of cotton seed, only 35-40 % of the installed processing capacity is used. Cottonseed is the third largest contributor of the vegetable oil production in the country.

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