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Cotton production suffers owing to insufficient rain
Jul '08
Central India is considered to be the main cotton producing area of the country, however scanty rains this year, have made the industry people ponder over the alarming situation. Farmers mostly complete cotton sowing by July 10, but this year owing to inadequate rainfall the sowing has come to a halt.

Being major cotton growing regions, Gujarat, Maharashtra and MP contributed more than 60 percent to the total output in 2007-08. The production in Southern region was 19 percent and Northern zone contributed 15 percent to the total yield. Nearly 70 percent area in these three states is rain fed and if the adverse weather conditions continue output is expected to drop significantly.

In order to learn more about the grave situation, Fibre2fashion, contacted Mr K.F Jhunjhunwala, Former President, Cotton Association of India, who asserted, “Central India which has the highest number of cotton growers, is facing problem due to delay in rainfall. If it rains within a week, cotton output in these regions may improve, but as per today's status it is a matter of concern.

Mr Jhunjhunwala further divulged, “In Northern region of India, irrigation system is available, so sowing can be completed on time. There may be 10 percent less rainfall here, compared to last year so conditions are not so alarming.”

According to statistics released by the Agriculture Ministry, as on July 18, the acreage has dropped by nearly 17.88 percent compared to last year to touch 5.81 million hectares compared to 6.99 million hectares at the same time in the previous year.

In 2007, the overall acreage under cotton was almost 9.55 million hectares with an average yield of 560.44 kilogram (kg) a hectare. Gujarat leads with yields at 756.56 kg a hectare, nearly 35 percent above the country's average.

Gujarat is expected to have a 5 to 10 percent increase in productivity which can reduce the overall impact that textile industry may face in near future, however productivity in Maharashtra is pitiable.

According to the available data, total production from Northern, Central and Southern regions was around 301, where as production from Gujarat, Maharashtra and MP was 112, 62 and 21 respectively in 2007-08. During the same time period, India produced approximately 31.5 million bales (1 bale = 170 kg) when compared to 28 million bales in the previous year. Experts believe that, the nation will produce nearly 33.2 million bales in 2008-09.

Market analysts are of the opinion that, if this situation continues, India is likely to have low production of cotton. This in turn will hamper the entire industrial chain to quite an extant.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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