Agri Business

Cottonseed sales seen stagnant at 4.40 cr packets

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on April 25, 2016


Telangana govt’s advisory to shun cotton could bring down sales by 20-30%

Notwithstanding hostile weather conditions, a poor forecast for international prices and resistance developed by pink bollworm to Bollgard II, the cottonseed industry expects an average year with projected sales of 4.40 crore packets (of 450 gm each) in the ensuing kharif season.

With an inventory of over eight crore packets, the industry sees no scope of shortage for the seed.

“We are anticipating a normal year for cotton. The market size could be in the region of 4.30-4.50 crore packets, stagnating at the same size last year,” Satheesh Kumar, former President of the Seedsmen Association of the undivided Andhra Pradesh, told BusinessLine.

Govt’s bearish view

The industry faces a roadblock in the form of the Telangana government’s advisory to the farmers not to go for cotton this year.

As outlook for global cotton prices paints a bleak picture, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao asked the farmers to stay away from the fibre for the year to save themselves from a bearish market.

This would have an impact on the overall cottonseed sales in the country.

With 22 lakh hectares under the fibre, the State is among the top cotton-growing States in the country, consuming about a quarter of the 4.30 crore packets the industry sold last year.

The Chief Minister has directed the State Agriculture Department to take up a campaign to convince farmers to stay away from the crop.

In fact, the cotton farmers in the State, like their peers in Maharashtra, are under severe financial pressure as the monsoon failed for the third consecutive year.

Over 1,500 farmers ended their lives last year — the bulk of them being cotton farmers.

“Even if 20-30 per cent people quit cotton, it would mean a lot. It will bring down pressure on natural resources. We are going to discuss this in detail during the District Collectors’ meet this week.

The Agriculture Department will campaign in villages, educating them about the impending price fall and its impact on them,” a Government official said.

Industry unfazed

The industry, however, is unfazed. It feels that the government advisories are not something new.

“I’m not saying there won’t be any impact. But it will be minimal as farmers tend to go by their own judgment rather than following the advice given by government officials,” a top executive at a seed firm, wishing to be anonymous, said.

“If the government announces an incentive (to stay away from cotton), the impact will be more. Maize and soya will benefit if farmers think of alternatives,” he said.

Published on April 25, 2016
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