Cotton sowing has picked up pace across the country because of good rainfall, with nearly 92 lakh hectares coming under cultivation so far. Last season, farmers had completed sowing operations on 46 lakh hectares around the same period. Cotton sowing is expected to cross 115-120 lakh hectares for the 2020-21 season, according to industry bodies.
This year, sowing has doubled compared to the last year, according to agriculture ministry data. Sowing began early this year since the monsoon began on time. In areas dependent on rainfall, sowing commences June onwards while in irrigated areas, it begins as early as April.
As per the data available, cotton sowing is almost complete and reached last stages in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. In Haryana, cotton acreage has gone up by 9% to 7.37 lakh hectares. Higher area has been reported from Maharashtra (33.08 lakh hectares), Telangana (15.39 lakh hectares) Rajasthan (6.27 lakh hectares) Madhya Pradesh (5.40 lakh hectares), Karnataka (2.03 lakh hectares), Gujarat (15.71 lakh hectares), Punjab (5.01 lakh hectares) Haryana (7.37 lakh hectares), Andhra Pradesh (0.90 lakh hectares), Odisha (0.03 lakh hectares) and Tamil Nadu (0.02 lakh hectares).
The Centre has raised the MSP of medium staple cotton by Rs 260 per quintal to Rs 5,515 for 2020-21 season. The same for long staple cotton has been increased by Rs 275 per quintal to Rs 5,825. According to industry people, farmers have switched to cotton since the government has increased the MSP.
Meanwhile, in Maharashtra, nearly 10-12 hectares has come under the banned variety of HTBT cotton, according to Shetkari Sanghatana president Anil Ghanwat.