Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA
Indian cotton crop may see about 20 percent increase in the new season. India’s current cotton crop for the season ending this September is expected to be about 34.1 million bales (170 Kgs each). However, next season’s crop (October 2017-September 2018) could be up to 20% higher than this current season.
Mr. M. M. Chockalingam, Chairman and Managing Director In-charge of state owned cotton company, Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), spoke this morning with this scribe and advised that farmers are enthusiastic in planting more cotton, next season. Mr. Chockalingam predicted that the crop increase would be about 15-20 percent next year.
This year, farmers in India have realized good price for cotton, which has not been the case in grains. Cotton farmers have received Rupees 6000 for one quintal of seed cotton (Kapas), whereas, the minimum support price set by government has been only Rupees 4160 per quintal. Pulse grain production has been high this year, which has resulted in lesser price for producers. Prices of edible oil seeds has been stagnant.
Higher price expectation is driving more cotton planting, which is clear from the plantings so far in northern areas such as Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Seventy percent sowing has been complete in this region already. The weather seems to be favorable for the next season, with early and above average rainfall expected in cotton planting zones in the country. Overall increase will come from increases in acreage and yield. According to a source based in Mumbai, who has been in the cotton business for many decades, the higher price scenario will result in the diversion of plantings in pulses and edible oil seeds towards cotton.