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April 19 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


As the 2024-25 kharif cotton planting season approaches in North India, stakeholders anticipate a potential decline in cotton acreages due to various challenges.

These challenges include severe pink bollworm (PBW) infestation, low prices for cotton, and rising labour costs.

Pink Bollworm (PBW) Infestation

About PBW:

  • PBW, or Pectinophora gossypiella, is a significant pest affecting cotton crops.
  • It damages cotton fruits like flower buds and bolls by laying eggs on them, leading to lint damage and quality deterioration.

Historical Context:

  • Despite the introduction of Bt Cotton to resist pests like PBW, the pest has developed resistance over time.
  • Contributing factors include continuous cotton planting without crop rotation, illegal cultivation of unapproved Bt/HT seeds, and extended cultivation of long-duration hybrids.

Impact on Crop Yield and Economy:

  • PBW infestation causes substantial yield losses and affects cotton fibre quality, impacting farmers’ income and sustainability.
  • States like Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan have witnessed significant damage, leading to economic repercussions for farmers and the regional economy.

Trends in Cotton Cultivation in North India

Impact on North Indian States:

  • Punjab, Rajasthan, and Haryana, the primary cotton-growing states in North India, are experiencing fluctuations in cotton acreages.
  • During the 2023-24 kharif season, Punjab experienced a notable reduction in cotton cultivation, whereas Rajasthan registered a minor decline, and Haryana recorded a slight uptick.

Shift Towards Alternative Crops:

  • Farmers are exploring alternative crop options like paddy, maize, guar, mung beans, and groundnuts due to quality concerns and poor realizations.
  • In Punjab, where water availability is favorable, farmers may opt for paddy cultivation, while Rajasthan may lean towards guar cultivation.

Labour Costs and Realizations:

  • Rising labour costs exacerbate challenges faced by cotton farmers in North India.
  • Poor quality resulting from pest infestations has impacted farmers’ realizations, leading to concerns about compensation for crop losses.

Expectations for the Coming Season (2024)

  • Despite the challenges currently faced, there is a sense of optimism regarding the upcoming cotton season, driven by promising monsoon predictions and comparatively improved prices.
  • However, concerns persist, including the lack of advanced technology and the severity of PBW damages observed in certain areas.

Growing Conditions for Cotton

·        Crop Type: Kharif crop requiring 6 to 8 months to mature.

·        Temperature: Ideal range is 21-30°C, needing a hot and sunny climate with a long frost-free period.

·        Rainfall: Requires around 50-100 cm of rainfall, thriving in warm and humid conditions.

·        Soil: Adaptable to various soils but prefers black cotton soil; tolerant to pH levels between 5.5 to 8.5 but sensitive to waterlogging.

Major Cotton Growing States

·        Northern Zone: Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan.

·        Central Zone: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh.

·        Southern Zone: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana.

Significance of Cotton

·        Textile Industry: Primary source, accounting for two-thirds of India’s total textile fibre consumption.

·        Cottonseed Uses: Cottonseed oil and cake/meal are used for cooking, livestock, and poultry feed.

·        Economic Value: Cotton is India’s third-largest domestically-produced vegetable oil, contributing to about 25% of global cotton production.

·        Nickname: Often termed “White-Gold” due to its economic importance.


April 19
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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