Source: deccanherald.com

Mrityunjay Bose, | APR 12 2018,
At a time when the Indian cotton industry is going through a tough phase, the Cotton Association of India (CAI) has initiated a major initiative to set up a training institute for farmers in Mumbai.

The Board of Directors has cleared a proposal to set up an All India Training Centre for Farmers in the CAI's Cotton Green premises, according to CAI President Atul S. Ganatra. "I am conscious of the challenges of the challenges ahead in realising this dream. However, I am confident that with the support from all of you we can achieve this goal,” he said at the inaugural session of Cotton India 2018, domestic conference.

Speaking about the achievements and challenges, he said cotton is grown in India across ten states under diverse agro-climatic zones. Land holdings in India are relatively small and about 60% of total acreage under cotton in India is rainfed and is dependent on the vagaries of nature.

"Despite all odds, the Indian cotton sector has registered an envious growth and carved a niche for itself in the world cotton market and as you all are well aware, today India is the world leader in the field of cotton production with a crop of over 360 lakh bales of 170 kgs. each," said Ganatra.

According to him, India is the second largest consumer of cotton next only to China. The annual consumption of cotton in India is likely to reach about 330 lakh bales during the ongoing crop year on account of the fact that several new textile mills in Gujarat and other states have started operations resulting in about 35 lakh new spindles this year.

India is also the second largest exporter of cotton in the world next only to the USA and it also has a vibrant import market. With over 122 lakh hectare acreage under cotton, India has by far the largest acreage under cotton in the world. In fact, over 1/3rd of the total acreage in the world is in India which clearly demonstrates the importance of cotton in the Indian economy.

I firmly believe that this spectacular achievement of the Indian cotton sector is not all. It still has a huge untapped potential which if exploited to its fullest, India will truly become a cotton superpower in the world.  "Although it has taken giant strides in terms of productivity, India is well below the world average. Against the world average productivity mark of 779 kilograms per hectare, cotton productivity in India is still hovering over 500 kgs per hectare," the CAI chief said.

"The availability of cotton in India will witness a sizeable quantum jump if our country achieves the world average productivity mark. Besides, there are several other areas where our country is lagging behind.

Mixing, excess moisture due to pouring of water on the bales, poor quality of bale packaging, lack of uniformity in bale weight and dierent trading norms prevailing in dierent parts of the country, absence of contract sanctity and lack of training facilities are some of the areas which need serious and urgent attention," he added. (Source: deccanherald.com)