India’s cotton production is likely to rise by 3.76 per cent to 345 lakh bales in 2016-17 as compared to 332 lakh bales produced in 2015-16, mainly because of higher yield, textile commissioner Kavita Gupta has said. However, the area under cultivation has dropped notably to about 108.45 lakh hectares from 122.92 lakh hectares in the previous year, she said.
Less frequent pest attacks in Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat added to the higher production as well, Gupta told reporters last week after the second meeting of the Cotton Advisory Board in Mumbai.
Total yield is estimated to grow by almost 20 per cent to 540.80 kg per hectare in 2016-17 from 459.16 kg per hectare in 2015-16. The total cotton exports figure is estimated to have declined to 60 lakh bales during 2016-17 from 69.07 lakh bales in 2015-16.
A cotton bale equals 170 kg. The cotton marketing year runs from October to September.
However, the area under cotton is expected to increase to 119 lakh hectares, or even more, in 2017-18 due to effective government measures, including diversion of some areas under cultivation of pulses to cotton crop, she said. The area under indigenous cotton variety has increased and acreage under Bt Cotton has slightly declined, she said.
The area under indigenous varieties will grow even more once new such high-yielding varieties developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) are commercialised in 2017-18, she added. (DS)