Cotton production is likely to decline by over 14 per cent in financial year 2015-2016 which will be the lowest for the last five years. The crop is in decline for last five year from 35.2 million bales to 33.0 million bales in 2015-16. (estimate). The decline assumes significance in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra where suicides by farmers were a matter of concern.
Cotton sowing started weak this year on low soil moisture following deficient monsoon rainfall. According to Gupta, the overall acreage has declined to 11.76 million hectares from 13.08 million hectares a year ago. The 15 per cent decline in average acreage in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra was likely to hit farmers. In Karnataka alone, the cotton output was estimated at 1.7-1.8 million bales, down from 3.0 million bales last year. Whiteflies infestation in Punjab and Haryana was set to reduce output of this region to 4.05 million bales from 5.2 million bales in the previous year.
According to experts, the government needs to take strict action against trade malpractices of supply of spurious seeds, mixing sub-standard cotton etc.,