Telangana had instructed farmers to remove cotton plants by December
The country’s cotton production is set to hit a 10-year low of 328 lakh bales this season mainly due to rain deficit in key states such as Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra, Cotton Association of India has said.
The trade body on Thursday cut its production estimate yet again, by 2 lakh bales of 170 kg each. It has now cut the production estimate by 8.6% from its first estimate of 348 bales during the past six months.
“Compared to last year’s 365 lakh bales, crop in the current year will be lower by 37 lakh bales," said Atul Ganatra, president of Cotton Association of India. “This year India has its lowest crop as compared to last 10 years. Our last lowest crop was in the year 2009 which was 305 lakh bales.”
CAI attributed the fall in its production estimate largely to poor rains.
This year, cotton sowing took place in around 123 lakh hectares. But, rainfall was much below normal in September and the entire month of October was dry.Gujarat had rain deficit of 28% while other key production states such as Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra also had deficit rains, officials said.
“Due to shortage of rain this year there will be no third and fourth picking in most of these cotton growing states,” Ganatra said. “In regular course in India farmers take 4 to 5 pickings.” Also, the governments of Maharashtra and Telangana had instructed farmers to remove cotton plants by December 31 to check Pink bollworm, an invasive pest that chew through cotton lent to feed on its seeds, Ganatra said. “Because of this there will be no third, fourth or fifth picking in India, and there will be a big drop in Indian cotton crop figures this year.”
By BOA Bureau