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Vietnam govt's plan to boost cotton acreage may fail
Oct '12
The Vietnam Government’s plan to enhance cotton cultivation acreage to 30,000 hectares by 2015 may not succeed as cotton is not reaping satisfactory returns compared to other crops.
The Government’s plan for 2010-15 requires that another 20,000 hectares of land in the country be brought under cotton cultivation. However, as reported in a business newspaper in Vietnam, only 790 hectares of new area was brought under cotton cultivation during 2010-11.
The country added only 200 hectares of area to its prevailing cotton cultivation acreage during initial nine months of the current year, which is not even 10 percent of what was planned for the period.
Although domestic cotton production hardly satisfies around two percent of Vietnam’s domestic textile industry’s demand, farmers are not willing to engage in cotton cultivation, due to less profitability. 
The low returns are mainly because Vietnamese cotton varieties have low productivity and are not of satisfactory quality. Meanwhile, the flow of investment in intensive cotton farming and equipments for the same still remains low. 
Having a cultivation period of 145-160 days, cotton varieties cultivated in the northern region of the country have low productivity of around 1.2 tons per hectare and are highly vulnerable to green leafhoppers.
A research conducted by Nha Ho Research Institute for Cotton and Agricultural Development, based in Southern Central Ninh Thuan Province, on inter-cropping cotton and other cash crops in key cotton-cultivation regions, found that inter-cropping of corn and cotton helped cultivators in Tay Nguyen in Central Highlands region fetch Vn$ 1.3-2.5 million more in per hectare returns, as compared to those cultivating only cotton. 
According to experts, Government should direct the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to implement extensive cotton-zoning plans in the country’s cotton growing regions like Tay Nguyen and the north-western and south-central regions.     

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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