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India likely to face cotton deficiency

Oct 14, 2021
India likely to face cotton deficiency


The experts stated this in a webinar held by the Cotton Association of India (CAI) recently. India’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.

Suresh 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.

Since Independence, India’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.

J 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.

Pradeep 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.

In 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 US’ National Cotton Development Board. Kotak added that, one additional bale of cotton produced can generate 5 jobs.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Image Source: Google Images

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