With the prediction of a normal monsoon, sowing and production of India’s biggest commercial crop, cotton, is expected to get a further boost in 2017, on the back of good returns enjoyed by its cultivators last year.
“How much increase in acreage there will be would depend on further clarity on the monsoon
but I am sure the crop area is going to go up. Market conditions also seem favourable,” Nayan C Mirani, president of the Cotton
Association of India, which represents the trade and industry across the value chain, told this newspaper.
Production in the current season has been 34.05 million bales, from a little over 33 million the previous year, though the crop area was less.
This was possible because some good rain and lower incidence of whitefly attack gave a boost to yield, said Mirani.
and Andhra, the fall in price of pulses and chillies will also help cotton.
"Farmers who have grown pulses will mostly shift to cotton
this time, as they had suffered losses due to poor market prices in the past season. Chilli farmers in Telangana
and Andhra are also likely to switch to cotton
in the ensuing kharif season. Overall, we expect a 10-15 per cent rise the crop area this time," said P Satish Kumar, director of Hyderabad-based Nuziveedu Seeds.
Last year, the Telangana
government had asked farmers to grow pulses instead of cotton.
The majority of farmers continued with cotton
but those who sowed pulses faced a price slide.
According to Kumar, the cotton
crop area is growing irrespective of monsoon
conditions but timely onset of rain will have a role in more of sowing. Cotton
seed companies are hopeful that their carryover stock would be less this time.
Apart from the large cotton
growing states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana, farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan seem to be switching to cotton
from foodgrain crops, say initial reports.