One of the biggest commercial crop of India, cotton, is receiving a boost in its sowing and production as the monsoon has shown a predictable normal behavior for the 2017 favouring the crop.
Apart from the large cotton growing states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana, farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan seem to be switching to cotton from foodgrain crops,
Last year, despite the Telangana government asking its farmers to grow pulses instead of cotton, the majority of them continued with cotton and enjoyed good returns.
Nayan C Mirani, president of the Cotton Association of India, which represents the trade and industry across the value chain said that the amount of increase in acreage would depend on further clarity on the monsoon but he assures that the crop area will increase. Market conditions also seem favourable.
He added that production in the current season has been 34.05 million bales, from a little over 33 million the previous year, though the crop area was less. This was possible because some good rain and lower incidence of whitefly attack gave a boost to yield.
P Satish Kumar, director of Hyderabad-based Nuziveedu Seeds said that farmers who have grown pulses will mostly shift to cotton this time, as they had suffered losses due to poor market prices in the past season. Chilli farmers in Telangana and Andhra are also likely to switch to cotton in the ensuing kharif season. Overall, we expect a 10-15 per cent rise the crop area this time.
According to Kumar, the cotton crop area is growing irrespective of monsoon conditions but timely onset of rain will have a role in more of sowing. Cotton seed companies are hopeful that their carryover stock would be less this time.