Gold Silver Reports — Cotton Production to Hit Seven-year Low – Shrinking area under cultivation, pest attacks on crops in Gujarat cited as key reasons for fall
Cotton production in the country is expected to hit a 7-year low in 2016-17 because of a reduction in the area under cultivation and pest attacks in top producer state Gujarat, even as domestic prices have started firming up after a poor season .
Cotton imports in 2015-16 may have been the highest in a decade, industry insiders said. Imports may see a new high this fiscal as the overall area where cotton has been sowed has declined 8.7%, they said. According to the Union agriculture ministry, area under cotton as on August 5 was 96.48 lakh hectare against 105.68 lakh hectare a year ago. India’s cotton production in 2015-16 declined to 338 lakh bales 2015-16 declined to 338 lakh bales (one bale of 170 kilogram each), down 12.4% from 386 lakh bales in the previous year, to hit a six-year low, according to last month’s update of Cotton Advisory Board (CAB). NK Sharma, managing director at Gujarat State Co-operati ve Cotton Federation, said the industry expects cotton production to further fall to 310-315 lakh bales in 2016-17. Scientists and industry insiders said cotton production is expected to fall in key states such as Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana.
“As compared to its normal area of about 28 lakh hectares, sowing was completed on 22.8 lakh hecta re in Gujarat as on August 8,“ sa id Keshav Kranthi, director at Central Cotton Research Institu te (CICR), Nagpur. “Area in Pun jab is down by over 25% as compa red to its normal area,“ he said.
Higher production in Maha rashtra, where weather condi tions are looking favourable as of GURURAJ today, is not expected to fully compensate for the fall in Guja rat and Punjab. Pink bollworm in Gujarat and white fly in north In dia had led to sever crop damage last year. This year, CICR scien tists say, white fly infestation is restricted to pockets such as Fa zilka and Abohar in the north.