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India's area under cotton may decline in 2012-13
10
Jul '12
Farmers in India, the second-biggest cotton producer in the world, are likely to switch to other crops like soybean that gave them better returns this year, and this might lead to a fall in area under cotton cultivation during the 2012-13 season, Textile Commissioner AB Joshi has said.
 
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Mumbai, Mr. Joshi said the delay in monsoon would also affect sowing of cotton in the country.
 
The pace of cotton sowing has already been affected in some parts of the country due to poor rainfall and if the monsoon gets delayed further, farmers in these regions may switch to sowing of short-duration crops, he said.
 
According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the country has received around 25 percent less rainfall than normal since the start of the monsoon season on June 1.
 
Cotton cultivation has steadily increased in India during the last few years owing to the introduction of genetically modified Bt cotton, which gave better returns to farmers.
 
Last year, cotton was sown on a record 12.2 million hectares of land, which yielded 35.2 million bales of 170 kg each.
 
The price of benchmark Shankar-6 variety of cotton is currently hovering in the range of Rs. 35,000-35,500 per candy of 356 kg each, as against the record high price of over Rs. 61,000 per candy in March 2011.
 
On the other hand, the price of soybean has nearly doubled during the same period – a good enough reason for farmers to shift from cultivating cotton to soybean.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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