Cotton sowing: Punjab fixes goal of three lakh hectares, however farmers reluctant to extend space underneath crop regardless of excessive charges

Farmers in Punjab seem hesitant to sow cotton over a big space although the crop has been fetching excessive costs in comparison with the minimal assist worth (MSP) previously two seasons. The state authorities has mounted a goal of bringing round 3 lakh hectares underneath cotton, which is 52,000 hectares greater than the full space of two.48 lakh hectares final season.

The state has the potential to convey round 8 lakh hectares underneath cotton crop. This season, sowing started in April and to date farmers have accomplished it throughout 1.21 lakh hectares. It will proceed until the tip of May or early June.

In Punjab’s cotton belt comprising eight districts, Bathinda, Fazilka, Mansa and Muktsar file the very best space underneath the crop. The different districts within the belt are Moga, Barnala, Sangrur and Faridkot. Fazilka district recorded the very best sowing final 12 months when it had 93,000 hectares underneath cotton. This 12 months, sowing has been accomplished on 71,000 hectares to date.

“We are focusing on increasing around 5,000 to 10,000 hectares in the major cotton sowing districts this year to achieve our target,” stated director of Punjab Agriculture Department Dr Gurvinder Singh.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Parampal Singh, a cotton farmer in Bathinda’s Teana village, stated he used to sow cotton on his land, which measures round 10 acres, however over the previous 4 to 5 years, he regularly began reducing the world underneath the crop. Now he grows cotton solely on 3.5 acres. “Frequent diseases over the past few years affected the yield. I used to get around 15 quintals per acre, but it reduced by 30-40 per cent during the years when it was hit by diseases.” This 12 months, Singh says, he’ll sow paddy on the remaining 6.5 acres.

“In Punjab, the major reason behind decreasing cotton area is that in the last few years various diseases, including white flies and pink bollworms, have been attacking the crop. Also, farmers need timely water supply in the canals in the cotton belt at the time of sowing. They are not well versed with methods of damage control due to the lack of extension services in cotton sowing under which farmers can gain proper knowledge about the seed, diseases, natural methods of pest control and judicious usage of right types of pesticides,” stated a senior officer within the Punjab Agriculture division.

The officer added that the federal government is conscious however not a lot effort is taken on this regard by the use of strengthening extension companies.

According to information supplied by the Punjab Mandi Board on this season until March 31, a complete of 8.01 lakh (8,01,067) quintals of uncooked cotton arrived within the mandis towards 28.90 lakh quintals final 12 months, which is a discount of 72 per cent. Meanwhile, simply 4,000 hectares extra was underneath cotton in 2022-23 in comparison with 2021-22. But the yield dipped by 45 per cent per acre this season attributable to numerous crop ailments.

According to Indian Cotton Association Limited (ICAL), 2.50 lakh bales (cotton after ginning) may very well be pressed in Punjab this season until March 31, as towards 8.50 lakh bales in 2021-22 within the corresponding interval and it was additionally manner under the sooner estimate of round 4.04 lakh bales. One bale is the same as 170 kg of ginned cotton (cotton separated from cotton seed).

The price of uncooked cotton (unginned) remained between Rs 8,000 to 9,000 per quintal, which is manner above the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 5,726 and Rs 6,380 per quintal for medium and lengthy staple uncooked unginned cotton, respectively.

Punjab used to have greater than 7 lakh hectares (LH) underneath cotton crop as was recorded within the years 1988-89 (7.58 LH), 1989-90 (7.33 LH) and 1991-92 (7.19 LH ).

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