Cot­ton: Look­ing Back and Be­yond!

Anurima Das throws light on the evo­lu­tion and im­por­tance of cot­ton.

Apparel - - Science Plus -

Cot­ton has been a his­tor­i­cally rel­e­vant crop in In­dia, right from be­ing used as a fi­bre for all our gar­ment­ing needs to cot­ton oil and de-oiled cakes from its residue which has served as fod­der for hu­mans and an­i­mals alike. Cot­ton and its im­por­tance ex­ceeds every ex­pec­ta­tion and of­fers an op­por­tu­nity for growth. From farm­ers to gin­ners to weavers, ev­ery­one through­out the sup­ply chain ben­e­fits from cot­ton in their own way. Thus, it is ob­vi­ous to equate the cot­ton pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of the coun­try with the con­sump­tion ca­pac­ity.


Ac­cord­ing to the re­cently re­leased re­port by the Cot­ton As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia (CAI), the cot­ton crop for the 2017-18 sea­son be­gin­ning Oc­to­ber 1, 2017, has been cal­cu­lated at 365 lakh bales of 170 ki­los each, which is higher by five lakh bales from the last cal­cu­la­tion. The bale cal­cu­la­tion men­tioned by CAI pri­mar­ily lists a few states at the top of the list. These are: three lakh bales in Gu­jarat, one lakh bales in Kar­nataka, 50,000 bales in Andhra Pradesh and 25,000 bales each in the states of Mad­hya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Con­versely, the In­dian Cot­ton Fed­er­a­tion (ICF) has men­tioned that the avail­abil­ity of cot­ton in the up­com­ing sea­son, that is Oc­to­berSeptem­ber (2018-2019), will be ex­tremely com­fort­able. As per their re­ports, the area un­der cot­ton pro­duc­tion has been pegged at 122.38 lakh hectares as against 122.53 lakh hectares re­ported dur­ing De­cem­ber 2017.


Ac­cord­ing to the re­cent in­for­ma­tion given by the Min­is­ter of State for Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture & Farm­ers Wel­fare, Shri Ga­jen­dra Singh Shekhawat, the Govern­ment has been im­ple­ment­ing the Cot­ton Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme with a fo­cus on the crop­ping sys­tem ap­proach un­der the Na­tional Food Se­cu­rity Mis­sion (NFSM) in ma­jor cot­ton grow­ing states since 2014-15 to en­hance the pro­duc­tion and pro­duc­tiv­ity of cot­ton. Thrust has been given on trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy through front-line demon­stra­tions and train­ing in or­der to ex­tend ben­e­fits to farm­ers. In ad­di­tion, states can sup­port the Cot­ton Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme un­der Rashtriya Kr­ishi Vikas Yo­jna.

Ad­di­tion­ally, to pro­vide re­mu­ner­a­tive prices to cot­ton cul­ti­va­tors in the coun­try, the Govern­ment has fixed the Min­i­mum Sup­port Price (MSP) of cot­ton for the 2018-19 sea­son at R5,150 per quin­tal for medium sta­ple and at R5,450 per quin­tal for long sta­ple. This pro­vides a mar­gin of 50 per cent over all In­dia paid-out costs, in­clud­ing fam­ily labour. As a re­sult of var­i­ous ini­tia­tives taken by the Govern­ment, In­dia has be­come a ma­jor cot­ton pro­ducer in the world and is also a net cot­ton sur­plus coun­try.

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