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Gujarat opts for – an all cotton policy
Apr '08
Gujarat faced harsh weather conditions a few weeks back which has reduced the cotton crop production from the estimated 125 to 90-100 lakh bales.

Inspite of this, the total output would still be a record produce against the 92 lakh bales of cotton obtained last year.

Over the years, Gujarat has replaced cultivation of groundnut by BT cotton variety. The state's contribution to cotton production of the country also saw an increase from 17 percent in 2001-02 to 40 percent in 2007-08.

Besides, the area under cotton also increased from 16 lakh hectares in 2003-04 to 25 hectares lakh hectares in 2007-08. On the other hand that for groundnut declined from 20 to 16 lakh hectares in the same period.

However, Gujarat is now focusing on increasing cotton productivity by using genetically-modified varieties and adopting micro-irrigation. Emphasis will also be laid on extending sowing area under hybrid cotton to 13 lakh hectares, improving productivity of indigenous cotton by seed replacement and providing assistance for farmers.

Global cotton consumption has increased to 148 million bales, of which China accounts 55 million bales, India 21.68 million bales and Pakistan 15.21 million bales.

These increased consumption levels can be explained on grounds that apparel and garment manufacturing centers have also shifted from West to the East of the globe thereby explaining this huge intake by Asian countries.

Cotton alone contributes 7.50 percent to the Gross Domestic Product of India and engages some six crore people in the sector.

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