Farmers shifting to cotton this year

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2017-05-16 12:00:00 – Coimbatore

A ‘normal’ monsoon forecast and better price realisation by farmers during the current year likely to see increase in area under cotton by 7 percent during the 2017-18 season, according to the International Cotton Advisory Committee.

Also consumption by textile mills is forecast to recover by 2% due to competitive prices for cotton yarn products, capacity expansion, and the resolution of adverse impact caused by demonetisation.

As per the official data, area under cotton in 2015-2016 was 118.77 lakh hectares and production was 338 lakh bales. For the 2016-2017 cotton season (October 2016 to September 2017), production is expected to be 351 lakh bales and the area was 105 lakh hectares.

Many farmers are shifting to cotton from water-intensive crops this year, increasing the commodity’s output.

K.N. Viswanathan, vice-president of Indian Cotton Federation, said that sowing had started in the northern States — Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana — and the indication was that the area would be higher. Karnataka has also reported the beginning of cotton sowing.

If the monsoon is good as expected, cotton prices might come down. Cotton prices went up to ₹45,000 a candy and are at ₹43, 000 a candy now. The prices have to be steady for the benefit of the sector. But, the prices might not fall drastically, Mr. Viswanathan added.

J. Thulasidharan, president of the federation, said that the expectation was that area under cotton could be up in the country by 10 % to 12 % next season. Sowing will start in a majority of the areas next month.

Seed companies said that the demand for cotton seeds would rise to 52 million packets from 46.5 million packets last season.

Globally, the cotton output is estimated to be higher for 2017-2018.

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