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CDRA project to raise cotton productivity in Rajasthan

Aug '12
Cotton productivity is an important issue for agriculture sector, since cotton is one of its largest cash crops. After Achieving significant increase from less than 300 kilos to more than 550 kilos per hectare during 2003-2008 on the strength of Bt seeds, productivity has again come down to less than 490 kilos during the last two years.

Efforts of government and the textile industry for improving cotton productivity through extension activities have been able to achieve only limited success so far. Now, the Cotton Development and Research Association (CDRA) of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) has come up with a novel project in Rajasthan to encourage High Density Planting System for increasing cotton productivity.

“The technical expertise of Bayer Crop Science (BCS), cooperation of Rajasthan State Government and the efforts of CITI-CDRA would converge in this collaborative experiment to improve cotton yield on the lines of countries like Brazil which have achieved huge productivity using high density planting” said Mr P.D. Patodia, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Cotton of CITI, which handles the CITI-CDRA activities.

In a statement here, Mr. Patodia stated that in Brazil the plant population ranges from 80000 to 100000 plants per acre and the cotton yield is 1500 kilos per hectare. Increasing plant population is one of the most effective ways of improving yield.

He added that the partnership between CITI-CDRA and BCS is to set up Trial Plots of one acre each in Ajmer, Pali, Nagur and Jodhpur districts with different spacing initially to accommodate about 18000 plants per acre to promote high density planting system for cotton. Individual textile mills of the region have also joined CITI-CDRA in implementing the project.

Mr. P.D. Patodia stated that CITI-CDRA has already been active in Rajasthan and has successfully implemented a project of Front Line Demonstration (FLD) for dissemination of latest cotton production technologies in the districts of Banswara, Bhilwara and Rajasamand during the past four years in association with State Govt. of Rajasthan and Bayer Crop Science.

Under FLD programme 2590 cotton farmers from 1494 villages from these districts were directly benefitted. Besides 22500 non project farmers received the benefit of technical knowhow provided by the scientists from various institutions like KVKS, ARS Banswara, and BCS Mumbai. The project successfully organised 932 awareness camps and Kissan Mela which benefited over 70000 farmers.

The CITI CDRA has developed an elaborate infrastructure comprising of project co-ordinator, project officers and scouts for proper implementation of the projects, Mr. Patodia added. 

Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI)

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