The Indian Cotton Advisory Board has marked cotton production on the higher side this year at 39 million bales compared to 36.5 million bales last year while the total demand for cotton this cotton year is pegged at 40.1 million bales compared to 38.4 million bales last year.
Due to improved quality of the seeds, Indiaâ€™s average cotton yield in 2013-14 has increased by nine percent to 565.36 kg per hectare (ha) despite the area under cotton dropped to 11.73 million ha compared to 11.98 million ha in 2012-13.
In Maharashtra, there was a rise in acreage from 3.8 million ha to 4.1 million ha. But the acreage under cotton has remained static at 3 million bales.
However, the cotton area in north India has decreased to 1.3 million ha compared to 1.5 million ha. Central India has also seen acreage under cotton drop to 7.1 million ha from 7.2 million ha. Gujarat too saw a drop in area from 2.6 ha to 2.4 million ha.
According to CAB estimates, exports of cotton increased to 11.4 million bales compared to 10.1 million bales last year, while cotton imports plunged to 800,000 bales compared to 1.4 million bales last year. China imports more than 65 per cent of India's cotton but so far during this year it has imported 6.2 million bales. The other major importers of Indian cotton are Bangladesh, Turkey, Vietnam and Pakistan.
India imports extra-long staple cotton, which is not available domestically. Mill consumption of cotton has more or less remained stagnant at 25 million bales, while small-scale unitsâ€™ consumption has increased marginally this year to 2.5 million bales from 2.3 million bales last year.
According to textile commissioner Kiran Soni Gupta, there has been a remarkable increase in productivity, and the focus currently is on breeder seeds. Seeds should be made accessible to the farmers.
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