North India Cotton Sowing Area May Rise Slightly, Rain Boosts Crop

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North India’s cotton sowing is progressing satisfactorily after beginning in mid-April this year. According to initial reports, cotton sowing area is likely to increase in Rajasthan as farmers have preferred to grow the crop this season. Likewise, the area may remain same or slightly increase in Punjab and Haryana. Overall, the total sowing area is expected to rise by 5-7 per cent in north India as per initial estimates. Traders said that farmers received better return from cotton in comparison to other crops last season. Rain in last month also benefitted and prompted farmers to sow the crop.

Trade sources said that around 50 per cent sowing has been completed in the three cotton-growing north Indian states of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. Farmers have begun sowing immediately after harvesting of mustard crop. Rain in April also provided much needed moisture which encouraged farmers to sow cotton. Traders said that farmers are quite satisfied from the return they received from last year’s cotton crop. Farmers received around 30-40 per cent higher prices than Minimum Support Price (MSP). The government had fixed MSP at ₹6,080 per quintal for medium staple unginned cotton (kapas) for current marketing year (October 2022-September 2023). Market prices of the natural fibre remained more than ₹8,000 per quintal.

Satish Sharma, a cotton trader from Bathinda, told Fibre2Fashion, “Cotton sowing area is expected to rise by around 10 per cent in Rajasthan. Punjab and Haryana may see similar or slightly higher area. Farmers preferred cotton against other crops due to better return last season. Overall area of cotton is likely to rise by 5-7 per cent in next season.” Cotton sowing may complete in this month, or at most it may extend till mid of June.

Another trader, who doesn’t want to be named, also said that cotton sowing area may increase by 10-12 per cent in Rajasthan. But it may decrease around 5 per cent in Punjab and Haryana. He estimated production of 54 lakh bales of 170 kg each during the upcoming cotton marketing season, against production of 41 lakh bales during the current season. He projected production of 35 lakh bales in Rajasthan, 15 lakh bales in Haryana and 4 lakh bales in Punjab. Last year, cotton was sown on 5.97 lakh hectares in Rajasthan, 6.50 lakh hectares in Haryana, and 2.48 lakh hectares in Punjab.

Source: fibre2fashion