September 27, 2015
The Cotton Research and Development Association (CDRA) now says that cotton yield this year might not be as good as it was predicted earlier. Due to various reasons including white fly attack in some of the states and sparse rain, the total production could drop by 10 to 15 lakh bales instead of the 390 lakh bales that was estimated earlier.
The SIMA-CRDA report says that though the area under cotton cultivation has increased to 130 lakh hectare, the yield per hectare has decreased from 566 kg to 511 kg this year. Cotton requirement of mills all over the country has increased from 286 lakh bales in 2013-14 to 300 lakh bales in 2014-15.
Exports were badly hit too. In 2014-15, it stood at 55 lakh bales against an estimated 70 lakh bales. The year before, exports stood at 118 lakh bales.
The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) was asked by the Centre to step in and buy the cotton at Minimum Support Price (MSP) since it was being sold at below MSP in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra. CCI had accordingly bought 87 lakh bales of cotton at MSP in order to protect the farmers.