Cotton Crop Extensively Damaged In TS

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Incessant rains over past couple of days have added to the damage suffered by crops across Telangana state. Agriculture department officials tentatively estimated that crop had been damaged in 11 lakh acres including cotton over a large area, paddy, maize and soyabean.

The state government had encouraged cultivation of cotton as an alternative to rice following which the commercial crop was planted in around 75 lakh acres. Due to heavy rains, cotton crop was damaged in around 25 lakh acres in 2020 and around 20 lakh acres in the 2021 season. In the Vanakalam (Kharif) season this year, farmers had sown cotton in around 43 lakh acres, but incessant rains damaged around 20% crop.

Farmers are worried over the second sowing of cotton in the rainy season. Delay in sowing would adversely affect the yield, the farmers said.  Agriculture scientists said that late sowing of cotton either in the last week of July or first week of August is not advisable. Usually, arrivals of cotton crop yields will complete by December end.

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Reports said saplings were submerged in floodwaters in various districts. Cotton crop on around 8.60 lakh acres in undivided Adilabad, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Khammam, Medak and other districts were estimated to be damaged.

Textile industry to submit proposal to raise cotton productivity
The textile industry will soon submit to the government a proposal to improve cotton quality and productivity. Union Textile Minister Piyush Goyal and and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar held a meeting with cotton sector stakeholders on July 24.

Ravi Sam, chairman of Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA), who participated in the meeting, said a multi-pronged approach is required for farmers to sow quality seeds and adopt best practices, to improve soil health, and reduce contamination in cotton.

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The industry will submit a proposal to the government, start engaging with the farmers, and also extend support to them to increase productivity and improve quality. “The aim is to start working with farmers for the winter sowing,” he said.

A press release from SIMA, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, and The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council said annual cotton production in the country is estimated to drop to the lowest level of 315 lakh bales this season.

The meeting of stakeholders on July 24 discussed on the need and ways to adopt global best practices and also brand Indian cotton and textile products. The stakeholders should come together and work on a mission mode for holistic growth of cotton textile value chain. It was decided at the meeting to have testing facilities from farm to industry, produce clean and contamination-free cotton, have a strategy to curb illegal sale of spurious seeds and educate younger farmers to use genetically pure certified seeds, it said.

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