In Tamil Nadu, the Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) has launched a contract farming project for ELS cotton cultivation.
Precot Limited, Coimbatore, signed an MoU with SIMA CDRA for ELS organic cotton cultivation, supplying all inputs free of charge to farmers and guaranteeing cotton procurement at market price, according to a press release from SIMA Cotton Production and Research Association (SIMA CDRA) chairman R. Ravichandran on Wednesday.
Mr. Ravichandran said the pilot project will be on 500 acres in Semmandipatti village in Namakkal district. The organic ELS cotton will have a staple length of more than 33 mm and could be used to make organic yarn with counts up to 80. The crop will last approximately 160 days, with a productivity of 10 quintals per acre.
Though India is the largest producer of cotton in the world, it faces an acute shortage of ELS cotton as the BT technology that was introduced in 2003, provided the technology only for long-staple cotton. The country consumes around 20 lakh bales of ELS cotton while it produces only four lakh to five lakh bales a year. Nearly 15 lakh bales of ELS cotton are imported every year.
The central government has promoted the cultivation of ELS cotton and is expected to announce a scheme soon. The government is also promoting the cultivation of organic cotton, not only to protect soil health and the environment but also to meet the growing demand of domestic and foreign markets.
A proposal for the production of ELS cotton, organic cotton, and naturally colored cotton was recently submitted to the government by the SIMA CDRA.
According to the release, about 250 farmers attended a ceremony on Wednesday to kick off the pilot project.
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