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28-June-2024-Editorial

June 28 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

COTTON CULTIVATION 

Recent data from the Ministry of Textiles indicates that cotton consumption by the textile industry from October 2023 to September 2024 is one of the highest in this decade. 

Key Facts About Cotton Cultivation 

About Cotton 

  • Significance: One of India’s most important commercial crops, accounting for about 25% of global cotton production. 
  • Nickname: Known as “White-Gold” due to its economic value. 
  • Cultivation Areas: Approximately 67% of India’s cotton is grown in rain-fed areas, and 33% in irrigated areas. 

Growing Conditions 

Climate: Requires a hot, sunny climate with a long frost-free period; thrives in warm, humid conditions. 

Soil Types: Can grow in various soil types, including: 

  • Well-drained deep alluvial soils (northern regions) 
  • Black clayey soils (central region) 
  • Mixed black and red soils (southern zone) 

Sensitivity: Tolerates some salinity but is highly sensitive to waterlogging, necessitating well-drained soils. 

Hybrid and Bt Cotton 

  • Hybrid Cotton: Created by crossing two parent strains with different genetic characteristics, often occurring naturally. 
  • Bt Cotton: A genetically modified pest-resistant variety. 

India’s Cotton Scenario 

Global Production 

  • Rank: As of November 2023, India is the largest cotton producer globally, followed by China and the United States. 

Largest Producing Zone 

  • 2022-23: The Central Zone, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, is the largest cotton-producing region. 

Indian Government Initiatives for Cotton Development 

Cotton Development Programme Under NFSM 

  • Objective: Enhance cotton production and productivity in major cotton-growing states. 
  • Implementation: Managed by the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare in 15 major cotton-growing states since 2014-15. 

Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) 

  • Establishment: Founded in 1970 under the Ministry of Textiles. 
  • Role: Stabilizes prices by enforcing price support measures when market prices fall below government-decided levels. 

MSP Formula for Cotton 

  • Introduction: A formula of 1.5 times the cost of production (A2+FL) for Minimum Support Price (MSP) calculation, ensuring the economic interest of cotton farmers and availability of cotton to the textile industry. 

CCI as Central Nodal Agency 

  • Function: Appointed to manage MSP operations when Fair Average Quality grade seed cotton (kapas) prices fall below MSP rates. 

Textile Advisory Group (TAG) 

  • Purpose: Facilitates coordination among stakeholders in the cotton value chain to address productivity, pricing, branding, and other issues. 

Cott-Ally Mobile App 

  • Development: Provides farmers with information on MSP rates and procurement centers through a user-friendly interface. 

Committee on Cotton Promotion and Consumption (COCPC) 

  • Goal: Ensures the availability of cotton to the textile industry. 

Issues Associated with the Cotton Sector in India 

Pest Attack 

  • Primary Pest: The pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) significantly affects cotton production. 
  • Impact: Reduces both quantity and quality of cotton produced. 
  • Resistance: Continuous cultivation of Bt hybrids has led to the development of resistance in pink bollworm populations. 
  • Affected States: Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan have experienced heavy pest infestations. 

Yield Fluctuations 

  • Unpredictability: Cotton production is affected by factors such as limited access to irrigation, declining soil fertility, and erratic weather patterns, including droughts and excessive rainfall. 

Smallholder Dominance 

  • Challenges: Small-scale farmers often use traditional practices and have limited access to modern farming technologies, affecting overall production. 

Limited Market Access 

  • Market Constraints: Many cotton growers face difficulties in reaching markets and are forced to sell their produce at lower rates to intermediaries. 

Way Forward 

Integrated Pest Management 

  • Strategy: Implement integrated pest management (IPM) combining natural controls, trap crops, and beneficial insects to reduce pesticide dependency and manage pests effectively. 

Address the Yield Gap 

  • Initiatives: Promote best practices like High-Density Planting Systems (HDPS) and a value chain approach through projects like the Large-Scale Demonstrations Project under NFSM to bridge the yield gap. 

Modernization and Infrastructure Development 

  • Schemes: Utilize schemes like the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) and Mega Textile Parks (MITRA) to modernize ginning, spinning, and weaving facilities, enhancing efficiency and global competitiveness. 

Improve MSP Calculation 

  • Revised Formula: the updated MSP formula, which is set at 1.5 times the cost of production, guarantees equitable returns for farmers. Additional adjustments, guided by NITI Aayog recommendations, can further improve the financial security of farmers. 

Strengthen Market Linkages 

  • Initiatives: Implement robust procurement systems, price stabilization funds, and cotton grading and standardization mechanisms to help farmers get better prices and reduce exploitation by middlemen. 

Branding and Traceability 

  • Initiatives: Promote “Kasturi Cotton” to create a distinct identity for Indian cotton in the global market, emphasizing quality assurance and traceability to attract premium prices and build trust with international buyers. 

Details

Date:
June 28
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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