India likely to face cotton deficiency
With the country witnessing low cotton yields over the past few years, India might soon become deficient in cotton, according to industry experts.
experts stated this in a webinar held by the Cotton Association of India (CAI)
recently. Indiaâ€™s average cotton yield of around 530 kg per hectare is in stark
contrast to about 1,500 kg achieved by some of the advanced countries such as
Australia, Brazil, China, Israel, Mexico, Turkey among others.
Kotak, cotton expert, called for an introspection on production techniques, and
stressed on the development of integrated crop management technology with a
blend of drip irrigation and fertilisation – fertigation – for improved water
management. This is deemed necessary as nearly 60% of India’s cotton area is
under rainfed conditions. He said that, during flowering and fruiting period,
Indian cotton remains famished and when it needs the nutrition, the current
system and agronomics do not provide it. Converting the plant growth into
vegetative growth is required, he added.
Independence, Indiaâ€™s cotton area and yield has jumped multifold from 43 lakh
hectares and 70 kg in 1947 to 133 lakh hectares and over 500 kg yield at
present with about 80 lakh farmers growing cotton.
Thulasidharan, President, Indian Cotton Federation (ICF), said that, the yield
has been stagnant or falling in last few years and if it does not improve,
India will become a cotton deficient nation in the next 6-7 years.
Kumar Agarwal, CMD, Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), pointed out a steady
growth in consumption against a near steady production. He suggested importing
technology and technical know-how on better cotton production techniques from
the advanced countries. He stated that,
they need to approach the government to borrow their technology to develop
short-duration high-yield varieties.
order to bring a focused policy support for cotton, Kotak suggested creation of
a unified cotton body named National Cotton Board on the lines of USâ€™ National Cotton Development Board. Kotak added that, one
additional bale of cotton produced can generate 5 jobs.
Hindu Business Line
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