Cotton output is expected to increase 4 per cent to 34.5 million bales (of 170 kg each) in the cotton year ending September on the back of sharp rise in yield. However, the acreage under cotton has dropped 11 per cent to 10.84 million hectares (12.29 million hectares). The yield per hectare is expected to increase to 541 kg from 459 kg.
Kavita Gupta, Textile Commissioner and Chairperson of CAB, says cotton export is expected to decline to 6 million bales this year from 6.9 million bales last year with concern over availability of cotton in domestic markets. Exports to Pakistan have fallen drastically while Bangladesh accounted for 40 per cent of total exports from India till May.
Better crop management and efficient protection mechanism would reduce the impact on the productivity in the coming season. The area under cotton crop is expected to bounce back to 11.9 million hectares the next season and the output is set to grow in double digits. Data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture till mid-August show 18 per cent increase in cotton acreage for the crop year 2017-18 (October–September).
The use of home-grown cotton variety developed by the Central Institute for Cotton Research, Nagpur, has increased this year, Gupta added. She further stated that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research has also come up with more native varieties, which are good in yield. Once they are commercialised in 2017-18, the area under the indigenous variety will increase further.