Agri Business

Cotton makes early gains in kharif acreage

Vishwanath Kulkarni / Rutam Vora Bengaluru/Ahmedabad | Updated on June 08, 2020

While cotton planting in North India is almost complete, it has just started in Gujarat and Maharashtra, among other States   -  THE HINDU

Ministry data show area up 23% till June 4

Cotton is seen making early gains in the kharif sowing season 2020-21 as farmers in the North zone – consisting of Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab – have brought more area under the fibre crop this year.

As on June 4, cotton acreage across the country was up 23 per cent at 16.69 lakh hectares as against 13.51 lakh ha in the same period last year, according to data released by the Agriculture Ministry.

In Rajasthan, cotton acreage has gone up by 83 per cent to 4.52 lakh ha, as on June 4, as against last year’s 2.46 lakh ha. In Punjab, it was up by 12.5 per cent at 4.5 lakh ha (4 lakh ha in last season), while in Haryana, the area increase was 10.48 per cent at 7.01 lakh ha (6.35 lakh ha).

“Cotton sowing has been good in North India this year,” said Sushil Phutela, Vice-President of the Indian Cotton Association, a trade body.

Favourable factors

“The availability of water in the canals during the Covid lockdown has resulted in an increase in area under cotton,” Phutela said. Other factors such as favourable weather, the shortage of labour for paddy transplantation, coupled with lower prices for competing crops such as guar, have spurred the growth in cotton acreage in North India. Besides, the 5 per cent increase in minimum support price (MSP) announced by the Centre has also motivated the growers. MSP for medium staple cotton has been increased by ₹260 to ₹5,515 per quintal. Long staple MSP has been increased by ₹275 to ₹5,825 per quintal.

While planting in North India is almost complete, it has just started in Gujarat and Maharashtra, among others. In Gujarat, cotton planting began early this year as several areas have received rains due to the Cyclone Nisarga. Ministry data showed that cotton was planted in Gujarat on about 13,000 ha, and in Karnataka on 41,300 ha.

Price recovery

Ramanuj Das Boob, a ginner in Raichur, said the acreages could go up in North Karnataka and Telangana this year, where procurement by the Cotton Corporation of India is still going on. The slight recovery in cotton prices with the reopening of spinning mills after the lockdown is seen aiding the trend. Cotton prices are hovering around ₹35,000 per candy of 356 kg, as against ₹33,000 a couple of weeks ago.

Sources at the Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) said the initial crop condition was good in Punjab and Haryana, while some cropped area in Rajasthan has come under locust attack. The extent of damage caused by locusts in Rajasthan is not yet known.

Published on June 08, 2020

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