Acreage under Bt cotton goes up

The Cotton Advisory Board CAB has estimated cotton production for this season (October 2017 to September 2018) to be 370 lakh bales.

The Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) has estimated cotton production for this season (October 2017 to September 2018) to be 370 lakh bales. The CAB had estimated cotton production to be 345 lakh bales and exports at 59 lakh bales for the season when it had met in December. Production estimates were lower in the beginning of the season as the board expected damage to the crop from bollworm attack. However, State governments took steps to contain the damage, says J Thulasidharan, President, Indian Cotton Federation.

The ICF chief says that there is not much scope for increase in cotton exports. He has described as conservative CAB’s closing stock estimate of 43 lakh bales. This could rise when the season ends, according to Thulasidharan.

“Cotton position is very comfortable. However, domestic cotton prices are up, reflecting the international trend. There is no reason for the textile mills to panic,” he says. Cotton cultivation under this high-yielding and genetically-modified seed is set to go up further this year. Acreage under Bt cotton declined significantly from over 95 per cent of the total area under cotton in 2013-14 to below 90 per cent in 2016-17.

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