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Gujarat has most reliable cotton quality for exports

Nov '05
Made-in-China apparel sold in some of the biggest retail chains in the US, in the summer of '07, may have their thread running to Gujarat.

Cotton farmers from the state are preparing themselves to enter the dragon land. Both the US and China haven't had a very good cotton crop this season creating a demand pull from China. Local traders feel that exports will fetch handsome returns — nothing less than 100 percent.

As China prepares itself to become the leading textile exporter to US and Europe, it is expected to face a shortage of an estimated 1.5 crore bales of cotton.Gujarat seems to be ideally placed to partially fulfil this shortage, thanks to an extremely good monsoon and extensive use of Bt-cotton seeds this year.

A cotton trader in Saurashtra stated that the cotton price in the exports market is lucrative, owing to higher demand from buyers especially in China. What's more, Gujarat has the most consistent quality of the crop which is required for exports.

The international price of good quality cotton is averaging at about Rs 50 a kg against the domestic rates of about Rs 20 a kg or even less.

According to an estimate, farmers here could export as much as 25 lakh bales. This will be about 28% of the total estimated production in the state at about 90 lakh bales for '05-06. Good monsoon this year and an extensive use of Bt-cotton ensured a very high productivity which is expected to be over 765 kg per hectare.

This is over 17 percent more than the per hectare yield last year which was 653 kg per hectare. This is also the highest per hectare yield figure for any state in the country. The national average too has improved to about 450 kg per hectare.

As a result, despite an insignificant change in the total area under cotton cultivation in Gujarat this year the production is set to grow over 22 percent. The total area remains stagnant at 20 lakh hectare compared to a little over 19 lakh hectare last year.

The Economics Times

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