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Experts Predict Boost in Cotton Cultivation in North India Due to Recent Rain

According to experts, there may be an increase in cotton plantation acreage in the Northern States this year due to untimely rain. In Haryana, a key summer crop, cotton has already been sown in 3.5 Lakh hectares, with a government target of 7 Lakh hectares for this summer.

Shivam Dwivedi
Experts Predict Boost in Cotton Cultivation in North India Due to Recent Rain
Experts Predict Boost in Cotton Cultivation in North India Due to Recent Rain

The government's data shows that cotton plantation in Haryana was carried out on 5.74 Lakh hectares last season. Similarly, in Punjab, cotton has been planted on 30,000 hectares so far, and the government aims to plant it on 3 Lakh hectares compared to 2.48 Lakh hectares last year.

"The recent rain is a good sign because it will prevent the problem of 'burning' due to high temperatures. We noticed a significant loss in cotton acreage last year as a result of this burning," Ram Pratap Sihag, joint director of the Haryana Agriculture Department, told media.”

“Rain would also help to speed up the sowing process, especially in areas without irrigation. We are hopeful that cotton acreage will exceed last year's acreage this year because the government is discouraging sowing of water-guzzling rice and focusing on crop diversification," Sihag remarked on Saturday.

"The current spell of rain has been uncommon, but it's not bad," said Gurvinder Singh, director of the Punjab Agriculture Department. “The rain will aid to increase soil moisture content, which will benefit the crop. Groundwater use will also be reduced. The entire input cost is bound to fall, which will assist farmers."

Bt cotton is cultivated in approximately 95% of the total cotton farming area in Punjab and Haryana, with indigenous (desi) cotton types occupying the remaining 5%. Cotton is typically cultivated in most regions of Punjab and Haryana from mid-April to late May.

Cotton acreage in Haryana and north Rajasthan is expected to expand this year, according to Rakesh Rathi, former president of India Cotton Association Limited (ICAL). "Farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan are likely to switch to cotton from crops such as guar and pulse (moong) because cotton is expected to fetch a higher price. In Punjab, we expect cotton acreage to be similar to last year," he added.

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