Indian Farmers are shifting to pulses & oil seeds Instead of Cotton

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The cotton acreage in the country is likely to see a decline of about 15 %, with farmers shifting to oilseeds and pulses cultivation in several parts of the country.

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Though it had expected to top last year’s area of 12,9 million hectares, the cottonseed industry now says it will be lower. “We are hoping to close the season with about 42-43 million packets (of 450 gm each) this year as against the average sales of 55 million packets,” a seed industry executive has said.

M Prabhakara Rao, President of the National Seed Association of India (NSAI), told Business Line that the shift from cotton happened due to low yields and the damages caused due to the pink bollworm attack. “These two factors had resulted in low prices discouraging farmers from moving away from cotton,” he said.

“Besides, alternative crops such as soya bean, chillies and groundnut have fetched higher prices,” Prabhakara Rao, who is also the Managing Director of Nuziveedu Seeds, said.

“A good number of farmers got meagre yields. Some of them got only 300 Kg. This might have forced the farmers to look at alternatives like maize and red gram,” S Malla Reddy, Vice-President of All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), said.

Last year, the cotton acreage stood at about 13 million hectares as against  13,4 million hectares in the previous year.

Source: Hindu Business