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North India might produce less cotton bales
Jun '10
Although, there are hopes of more land to be brought under cotton cultivation this year, as compared to last year, especially with the sudden increase in prices, the total area sown in North India till now has been affected, owing to insufficient supply of water for irrigation.

While land for cotton cultivation in Rajasthan and Haryana has slipped, Punjab has recorded an addition of merely 29,000 hectares (ha). Currently, as per the North India Cotton Association (NICA), the overall area under cotton in the aforesaid three northern states is 1.305 million ha, which is a fall of 142,000 ha from the 1.447 million ha recorded in 2009-10.

Cotton crop is irrigation-intensive in these three; while sowing commence from mid-April, majority of it is over by the second week of June.

From 507,000 ha and 444,000 ha recorded in 2009 for Haryana and Rajasthan, respectively, the acreage under cotton in Kharif 2010 has dived to 450,000 ha and 330,000 ha, respectively.

In Punjab, the same has risen to 525,000 ha as compared to 496,000 ha recorded last year, this despite, analysts belief that, the area under cotton might increase.

As per Rakesh Rathi, NICA President, Haryana and Rajasthan are facing adverse situations of non-availability of canal water.

Initially, the cotton body was hoping a 5-10 percent increase in the acreage. However, now with the dip in acreage, production of cotton in North India may plummet to 3.5-3.7 million bales (1 bale = 170 kg) this cotton marketing year, from 4 million bales figure recorded last year.

But, government officials and cotton traders, are expecting an increase in the nations overall cotton acreage. Cotton sowing in key cultivating states, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra has already begun.

According to a cotton trading firm from Ahmedabad, about 30,00,000 ha of land has already been covered in the entire country, under cotton crop.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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