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Insufficient rains affect cotton sowing in Gujarat
Jul '12
The area under cotton cultivation in the western Indian state of Gujarat has been affected severely because of the delayed monsoons.
In an interview with Fibre2fashion, the Managing Director of the Gujarat State Cooperative Cotton Federation (GSCCF), Mr. NM Sharma expressed his concerns over the dip in cotton sowing in the state.
Mr. Sharma says, “Last year, cotton was sown over an area of 3 million hectares by this time of the year. However, this time cotton sowing has taken place only on 1.3 million hectares so far because of the delayed monsoons.”
“If the state receives sufficient rainfall till 10th of August then the cotton sowing acreage might increase up to an area of nearly 2 million hectares,” adds Mr. Sharma. 
Informing about the areas where cotton has already been sown, he states, “Sowing is already completed in the Narmada canal command area and some portions of Saurashtra.”
Talking about assistance from the Government of Gujarat to cotton growers in the state, Mr. Sharma opines, “Since the food grain cultivation is a priority right now, the Government will try to save the food crops first. After saving the food grains, it might think of providing water for cotton cultivation as well.”
When quizzed about the present cotton cultivation situation across the country, he avers, “Due to insufficient rains, the shrunk in acreage is being faced by all the major cotton producing states in the country, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat.”
“If we do not receive sufficient rainfall this monsoon, then there will be no possibility of reviving the cotton cultivation and as a result India may turn out to be a net importer of cotton this year,” he adds. 
On rising cotton prices, Mr. Sharma explains, “Because of the limited supply and escalating demands, the rates of cotton are increasing. The price of the benchmark Shankar-6 variety of cotton is hovering around Rs. 40,000 per candy (1 candy = 356 kg), and I do not see them coming down in the near future.”
“The mill owners and cotton processors are the main sufferers because of the rising prices,” he concludes. 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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