Web Exclusive | August 2016
Cotton planting to hit 7-year low
Pest attacks, monsoon delay and switch-over to pulses and oilseeds by farmers are expected to pull down India’s cotton planting its lowest level in seven years. According to the Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur, cotton planting this season is unlikely to exceed 104-105 lakh hectares. As on date, cotton planting across the country is around 99 lakh hectares, according to data released by the Agriculture Ministry.
In 2008-09, cotton planting in the country had touched its lowest at 103.9 lakh hectares and subsequently in the following years, the planting has varied between 111 lakh hectares to 128.9 lakh hectares. In 2014-15, cotton planting was the highest at 128.9 lakh hectares.
Lower sowing has been reported from major cotton-growing states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh, where the crop bore the brunt of pest attacks last year. Sowing of cotton is nearly 12 per cent lower than the area normally sown under the fibre crop by this time of the year. So far, an area of 90 lakh hectares has been planted under cotton compared to the normal area of 112 lakh hectares.