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Land under cotton cultivation likely to rise in Gujarat
Jul '10
Having witnessed bare minimum rainfall, the recent showers across Gujarat, has given the much required impetus to kharif crops and sowing activities. About 67 percent sowing has come to end in Gujarat and crops like cotton and castor are likely to witness an increase in acreage this kharif season.

Gujarat government has already brought net 5.85 million hectares of land under various kharif crops. However, the area stood at 6 million hectares, during the corresponding period, last year.

The reason behind lower acreage under kharif crops is due to scanty rainfall during the onset of the season. But the recent downpour has helped improve the sowing activity.

Till July 21, Gujarat had received only minimal rainfall, but post that and till date it has received 303.9 mm as compared to its regular record of 304.2 mm, which it receives till July 24, every year.

Recent rainfall has augmented the prospects of the ongoing kharif season and farmers, government and traders are looking forward for a rise in cotton and castor acreage. However, they have not anticipated figures for the due production.

More so, from 2.1 million hectares of land recorded in the period under consideration, last year, this year for the same period, the area under cotton is up to 2.16 million hectares.

Supported by strong demand in both, local and export markets, last year the cotton prices increased significantly. Hence, this year, farmers and traders are expecting the land to rise to 2.9 million hectares as against the close figure of 2.5 million hectares, recorded in kharif 2009.

Same is the case with castor, price of which have increased to peak levels of Rs 750 per 20 kilogram this month. As per figures released by government, currently, 66,000 hectares have been sowed under crop, which was about 49,700 hectares, during the corresponding period in 2009.

Therefore, taking in to account the rising cost of the commodity and recent rainfall, castor acreage in Gujarat is also likely to rise by 25 percent.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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