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India to have sizeable cotton surplus in 2012-13
Dec '12
India’s cotton output for 2012-13 season is likely to be about 35.5 million bales of 170 kg each, while its consumption is estimated to be about 26.5 million bales, which would result in a sizeable surplus, according to Cotton Association of India (CAI).
Speaking at the 90th Annual General Meeting of the association, CAI President Dhiren Sheth said that due to late arrival of monsoon and unequal rains in some of the cotton cultivation regions, the 2012-13 season started with an apprehension that cotton cultivation acreage may be lower than last season.
To an extent, the apprehensions turned true as the acreage reduced by around three percent. However, good rains in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh has changed the scenario and now the crop outlook for the season seems positive, he said.
He said that during the period when the domestic agriculture sector’s performance was not very good, cotton turned out to be a big success story.
India’s cotton output, which was 15.8 million bales in 2001-02, has doubled over the last 10 years. Also, the productivity levels have increased from 308 kg per hectare in 2001-02 to about 500 kg per hectare in 2011-12, while overall acreage increased from 8.73 million hectares to 12.178 million hectares.
With such enhanced output, the country is now not only being able to satisfy domestic requirement but has also turned out to be a regular exporter of cotton from being an importer.
During 2001-02, cotton contributed just Rs. 440 million to country’s overall export earnings, which grew to Rs. 140 billion in 2011-12.
Today, India has the largest cotton cultivation acreage across the globe, and stands to be the second-largest producer, consumer and exporter of cotton globally.
According to CAI, the rise achieved by India in cotton production over the past one decade was mainly attributable to increase in yield and acreage.
However, the country is still far off from reaching world average, though its cotton yields have nearly stabilized over the past two years.
Mr. Sheth suggested that while there is not much scope for expanding cotton acreage in the country, increasing yield is the best way to achieve long-term growth, but this too can be achieved only if the country gets to witness more revolutions like GM cotton, he added.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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