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Cotton productivity terror struck by spurious seeds
Apr '08
Poor weather conditions marked in the past weeks coupled with problems of pests and spurious seeds have done their bit to bring down the productivity of cotton in Gujarat.

Experts notified that cotton yield per hectare dropped by about 78 kilograms in 2006-07 and is expected fall even further in this ongoing season.

While cotton productivity in the state recorded the highest ever of 728 kilogram per hectare in 2005-06, the figures saw a decline in the subsequent year standing at 650 kilogram per hectare.

According to some of the industrial sources, with the introduction of Bt cotton seed, the number of spurious seeds of the second or third generations have also intruded the markets. This has been one of the primary reasons behind unpredictable downfall in yield per hectare that has hit farmers off guard.

Although the overall production has gone up and Gujarat is likely to have 40 percent share in the country's total cotton output, productivity per hectare is being constantly assaulted due to uncertified seeds.

Moreover, farmers have failed to inspect the authenticity of seeds and with Bt cotton seeds replacing the conventional methods, they have virtually avoided using pesticide.

Although Bt cotton provides resistance to bollworm, the use of pesticides become imperative for other pests. As a result, minor pests have become a menace for growers who are witnessing frequent devastation of cotton crops by millibug.

However,some other experts are of the opinion that low productivity could be an outcome of seasonal fluctuation. This apart, the state currently allows 70 varieties of Bt cotton seeds and on this account the Government needs to put a check so as to prevent the marketing of spurious seeds.

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