Gujarat showing a mad scramble to sow kharif cotton; acreage likely to increase by 20%

Kharif cotton sowing for the season 2022-23 in Gujarat is likely to increase by at least 20 per cent, compared to the previous season as a mad rush for sowing the cash crop is being witnessed among farmers in the state. Cotton prices are ruling very high, both in the domestic as well as international markets.

For almost a decade, cotton prices have stagnated between Rs 1000 and Rs 1300 per 20 kg. In the current season the rates of cotton have escalated as high as Rs 2500 per 20kg. Pre-monsoon cotton sowing in Gujarat has almost touched 1,40.000 hectares.

Gujarat is the largest producer of cotton with more than 25 per cent share in India’s total production. As per the Cotton Association of India (CAI) estimate, cotton production in the country is expected at 33.51 million bales (170 kg per bale) for the season 2021-22 (October 2021 to September 2022) compared to previous season’s 35.30 million bales. CAI has estimated 8.9 million bales production of cotton in Gujarat this season followed by Maharashtra 8.35 million bales, Telangana 4 million bales and Karnataka 2.1 million bales.

For the current season, cotton sowing in the state was over 2.25 million hectares. We are expecting the sowing area of cotton to cross 2.6 million hectares for the season 2022-23,” said CM Patel, joint director of Agriculture, Government of Gujarat to Financial Express.

Over the past few years, numbers of spinning mills within Gujarat have increased. In the last 3-4 years, cotton exports from India have been going up.  Countries like the USA and China are one of the biggest producers of cotton in the world, in addition to India. As cotton crop declined in these both countries, international prices of cotton have escalated.

In the case of cotton, farmers don’t have liberty to take winter crops, as cotton crops cycle is of nearly eight months. Cotton growers also have to face issues of pink bollworm pest menace. 

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