The initial estimates were around 130 lh, but sowing has been completed on 110 lh until July 30, YG Prasad, director, CICR said.
Cotton sowing across the country has picked up with the revival of monsoon in several states, after seeing a lull in the month of July due to a dry spell. Top officials at the ICAR-Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur believe that overall acreage could be marginally 2-3% lower than the previous year. Cotton area coverage was reported on 130.37 lakh hectares area last season.
The initial estimates were around 130 lh, but sowing has been completed on 110 lh until July 30, YG Prasad, director, CICR said. “Sowing in the north is almost complete with Punjab reporting a slight dip. The sowing has been normal in Haryana while Rajasthan and Gujarat had reported dry spells. There has been a dip in Maharashtra since farmers shifted to other crops like soybean and groundnut, but some pick up is likely in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,” Prasad said.
According to the agriculture ministry’s estimates, cotton acreages till July 29 was 110.73 lh compared with the previous year’s 121.25 lh, lower by 8.68 %. In north India, the acreage is 17 %, while in central India the deficit is 5.33 %. In the south, the acreage is lower by 12.6%. The lower acreage is largely attributed to delayed rains. But with kapas prices ruling at Rs 8000 per quintal, sowing is expected to continue till August-end across various states including Andhra, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
According to industry body Cotton Association of India (CAI), sowing has been completed on 112 lh as compared to 118 lh in the same period last year. Association president Atul Ganatra pointed out that the period of soybean and groundnut planting is complete and farmers will opt for cotton since kapas prices are at a record high. Punjab, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat have reported higher sowing as compared to last year, Ganatra said. Due to late rains, sowing is expected to continue till August 30, he added. Trade sources pointed out that some new local seed variety is being preferred in Gujarat since it gives 30-40% excess lint.
The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and the Cotton Association of India (CAI) had come together to educate farmers to increase cotton cultivation across the country and also improve cotton yields. Normally, around 110-120 lh comes under cotton cultivation in India. Ganatra said that the campaign had proved to be a success since farmers are giving preference to cotton.