The country is expected to produce about 345 lakh bales during 2016-17 as compared to around 338 lakh bales produced in 2015-16 crop year, Cotton Association Of India (CAI) said here.
"Due to the improvement in productivity expected on account of better weather conditions across all cotton growing regions of the country, the country expects to produce about 345 lakh bales during 2016-17," former CAI President Dhiren Sheth said at the association's annual general meeting (AGM) here.
The production of cotton in the country which had reached a record high of over four crore bales during the 2013-14 crop year fell to about 386 lakh bales in 2014-15, Sheth added.
The production declined further during the 2015-16 crop year to around 338 lakh bales, the lowest during the last five years. This drastic reduction in the crop during 2015-16 was mainly due to the white-fly attack especially in the northern region, he added.
Productivity of cotton continues to remain well below the world average productivity mark. However, looking at the initiatives taken by the Centre and continued research by scientists, one can hope that India would soon achieve the world average productivity mark, he said.
Cotton prices also sought lower levels almost during the entire 2015-16 cotton season, resulting in lower realisation of prices by farmers for their produce. This has led to a reduction of over 10 per cent in the acreage under cotton during 2016-17, said Sheth.
As per the latest estimates of the Directorate of Cotton Development (DOCD), the acreage under cotton is expected to go down to about 105 lakh hectare during 2016-17 from 118.77 lakh hectares during 2015-16, he added.
The world-over, trading of cotton is done on the basis of quality parameters. In order to be in sync with this trading norm and looking to its crop size, our country requires a huge boost in infrastructure, said the CAI chief.
Sheth pointed out that CAI took the initiative in converting this challenge into an opportunity and set up eleven laboratories across the country, with one more laboratory in the pipeline.
"Apart from providing cotton testing facilities to the cotton community at various cotton growing centres locally in a cost effective manner, these laboratories also work as regional centres of our Association and provide other services to the cotton sector in their respective regions,"
Meanwhile, CAI today appointed Nayan C Mirani as its new President and Udayan Thakkar as Vice President for 2016-17.
Original Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com
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