Web Exclusive | August 2016
Bid to stem fall in cotton output
For the cotton season 2015-16, the Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) has revised the cotton production estimate. It now stands at 338 lakh bales as against its earlier estimates of 352 lakh bales. The reasons for downwards estimates are: Acreage under cotton has decreased by around 7 per cent as against last year due to farmers switching to other crops in Northern and Central regions; white fly attack in states like Punjab and Haryana and pink boll-worm attack in the Gujarat region; delayed rains in Central and Southern region and deficit rains across all cotton growing areas.
And according to the Minister of State for Textiles Ajay Tamta various corrective measures have already been taken by the Government to prevent reduction in production of cotton. These include the department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare implementation of cotton development programme with a focus on cropping system approach under National Food Security Mission (NFSM) in 15 major cotton growing states like Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, etc since 2014-15. Under the scheme, emphasis is given for transfer latest technology to cotton growers through Front Line Demonstration (FLD) on Integrated Crop Management (ICM.
The minimum support price (MSP) for medium staple length cotton has been fixed at Rs 3,860 per quintal and for long staple at Rs 4,160 per quintal. The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has been entrusted with procurement of cotton from farmers at MSP to protect the interest of farmers.