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Country to gain from WTO ruling to cut US cotton subsidies
05
Aug '08
WTO has decided to slash down subsidies for cotton farmers in the US and with the decision coming into effect, India will gain a golden opportunity to become a leading cotton player in the world.

There is no doubt about the fact that the WTO move will tremendously affect American agriculture in a number of ways especially, in reducing the yield of crop. As cotton production in US scales down, buyers would look forward to supplies from India, Brazil and Africa since these countries have proved their potential to meet growing global demand for the raw material.

Moreover, even China would not be an obstacle for India since it has restricted acreage alloted for cotton and focussed on food production and industrialization. On the contrary, China is most likely to be a major importer because of an increase in its cotton consumption.

On the other hand, cotton production in India has witnessed a marvellous growth increasing from 136 lakh bales in 2002-03 to 315 lakh bales in 2007-08. This miracle has been made possible with the help of Bt cotton seeds which covered 66 percent of the total acreage in the country, thereby increasing yeilds and resulting in increased produce with reduction in cultivation costs.

Experts have pointed out that India is probably the only country after the US to be self-sufficient in its cotton requirement. So much so that the country is expected to produce a world average yield of 700 kilograms in the next few years.

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