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Bumper cotton crop may hurt farmers

India expects a bumper cotton crop during the 2017-18 season. This will make India the biggest producer of cotton for the third consecutive season. Mill consumption will be around 300 to 310 lakh bales. Cotton sowing has reached a record high of 122.6 lakh hectares in the country during the just concluded kharif season on the back of good rainfall in key growing regions.

Cotton acreage too has increased by about 20 per cent during the season. Good cotton prices during the last three years and poor remunerative prices from alternative crops encouraged farmers to grow more cotton. About 70 per cent of the cotton is brought to the market by farmers between November and February. The value of this cotton would be about Rs 58,300 crores.

A similar situation is expected in other cotton growing countries, resulting in 75 per cent surplus cotton globally for 2017-18. Due to oversupply in domestic and global markets, and liquidity issues, there would not be sufficient buyers in the lndian market which would affect the cotton farmers badly. So the Indian Cotton Federation says that if the Cotton Corporation of India were to procure 100 lakh bales, this would help in a big way to maintain stable cotton prices throughout the year and create a win-win situation for farmers and the entire textile chain.