MUMBAI: Cotton production in India is expected to grow at 8.28% annually for the next five years, because of increased usage of Bt cotton and improved cotton processing, a government official said on March 15, 2007.
However, the country hopes to become a net importer of cotton in about a decade, he said. “We are following the Chinese model to become a net importer of cotton and use that to turn out value-added fabrics,” J.N. Singh, commissioner with the ministry for textiles, said at a conference.
India, the world’s third-largest cotton producer, is set to harvest 27 million bales (one bale is equivalent to 170kg) in the year to September 2007, he said. Cotton production is expected to reach 39 million bales by 2011-12.
Domestic consumption is expected to grow 12.27% annually. “We may exceed this figure due to tremendous retail growth and per capita consumption growth, which would boost cotton consumption,” Singh said.
India is likely to consume 23.5 million bales in the year to September 2007.
Singh said yield per hectare has shot up to 500kg from 340kg in 2003-04, mainly due to the introduction of Bt cotton—which now accounts for 40% of the planted area in the country—and modernization of cotton processing