Cottonseed sales surge as farmers make a comeback

By gta_admin, in National News on . Tagged width: ,

Hyderabad: After a gap of three years, the cottonseed industry has registered good sales to reach an average of 4.5-crore packets. This is nearly 20 per cent more than last year s 3.6-3.75-crore packets sold last year.

Hyderabad: After a gap of three years, the cottonseed industry has registered good sales to reach an average of 4.5-crore packets. This is nearly 20 per cent more than last year s 3.6-3.75-crore packets sold last year.

The last three years had not been so good for the seed industry, as farmers in several cotton-growing areas had shifted to alternative crops due to poor prices, lack of rains, and good prices for pulses, chillis and soya. Farm distress in the cotton-growing States, too, played a role in the reduction of the area in the last two years.

The cotton acreage in the country this kharif has gone up by about 20-lakh hectares to 112-lakh hectares from 92-lakh hectares last year. The cotton acreage in Telangana, one of the key cotton-growing States in the country, has shot up to nearly 19-lakh hectares against 16-lakh hectares. Andhra Pradesh pegs a normal acreage of 6-lakh hectares this season. Maharasthra, too, saw a rise in the area.

Despite a negative sentiment last year, farmers have decided to come back to cotton because of good rains and crash of chilli and pulses prices. Unlike other crops, cotton gives a minimum return. For example, chilli farmers had suffered a lot in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana last year. Prices had plummeted to ₹1,500 a quintal at one point against ₹13,000-14,000 a quintal in the previous year,  said a top executive with a seed firm.

Highest sales recorded

The industry witnessed highest sales of about 5.5 crore packets three years ago against the average of 4.30 crore-4.60 crore packets. A packet contains 450 gm of seeds. Cotton acreage in Telangana dropped significantly in the last two years after the State government had taken up a campaign asking farmers to reduce exposure to cotton citing falling global demand and drop in prices. The farmers cut down on cotton area and diversified into soya, maize and pulses. After suffering heavily in cotton, most farmers returned to cotton.