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Posted at: Feb 14, 2018, 2:03 AM; last updated: Feb 14, 2018, 2:03 AM (IST)

Cotton production falls short of initial estimate

Inclement weather, low availability of canal water to blame
Cotton production falls short of initial estimate
The area under cotton cultivation in the state has gone up to 3.83 lakh hectares from 2.56 lakh. Tribune photo

Perneet Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 13

Cotton production in the state is unlikely to meet the estimated figure of 12 lakh bales this year and may fall short by 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh bales due to inclement weather and low availability of canal water.

Talking to The Tribune, former North India Cotton Association president Ashok Kapur said, “Initially, it was estimated that the state’s cotton production will touch 12 lakh bales this year. However, as the season proceeded, the estimates were revised and now we are hoping that it will be somewhere between 10.5 lakh and 11 lakh bales.” He attributed the higher estimates at the start of the season to the fact that the area under cotton cultivation had gone up considerably in the state.

Overall, the area under cotton cultivation in the state had increased from 2.56 lakh hectares to 3.83 lakh hectares. In Bathinda, it shot up from 97,000 hectares to 1.3 lakh hectares, from 32,000 hectares to 64,608 hectares in Muktsar and from 67,000 hectares to 86,000 hectares in Mansa.

According to him, the cotton production of the region, including Punjab, Haryana and Ganganagar circle of Rajasthan, is likely to be around 45 lakh bales. Out of this, Haryana will account for 24 lakh bales and Ganganagar circle for 10 lakh bales. He hoped that the state’s farmers would continue cotton farming in the next season as well, as they got remunerative prices for their produce, which touched Rs 5,500 per quintal mark this season.

Dr GS Romana, senior farm economist, PAU, said, “Cotton production may have been hit this time, as weather conditions were not conducive for it. The entire month of July was almost dry and the monsoon got delayed, which prompted the farmers to irrigate their crop more. Besides, it came to our notice that some farmers also used tubewell water, which is brackish, during pre-sowing irrigation. We don’t recommend this as high temperature coupled with brackish water leads to cotton burning.” He, however, felt that the state has done fairly well in terms of cotton production this year.

On the other hand, though farmers are more or less satisfied with the prices cotton fetched, they say it failed to meet their expectations. “We were expecting that the cotton prices will at least cross Rs 6,000 per quintal mark, but it barely managed to touch Rs 5,500. Besides, the low yield too has taken a toll on our returns,” said Jagtar Singh, a farmer from Naruana village. At present, the cotton prices are hovering between Rs 5,200 and Rs 5,300 per quintal.


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