Chandigarh: The mandis of Punjab and Haryana are seeing renewed arrivals of Kharif crop cotton, though in small quantities, as both the states hope to achieve a combined cotton output of 45 lakh bales this year.
“As cotton growers have started bringing their crop to the markets, almost 500 bales per day are arriving in Punjab and 350 bales in Haryana,” traders said.
Cotton is the only crop during this Kharif season which has seen an increase in its area in both Punjab and Haryana despite the fact that area under other crops such as paddy, sugarcane and guar fell considerably due to deficient rains.
The price of fresh cotton is ruling at Rs2,550 to Rs2,700 per quintal, they said, adding that cotton arrivals are going to pick up in the mandis in coming days.
“The area under cotton has surged this year because cotton growers have got handsome prices for their produce in the wake of a hefty hike in cotton MSP by the Centre last year,” cotton experts said.
Besides an increase in the area under the cash crop, the maximum coverage of Bt cotton and no attack of mealy bug on the crop would also lead to a bumper output in these states, experts pointed out.
Punjab this year brought 5.36 lakh hectares of area under cotton against 5.27 lakh hectares, posting a jump of 2%. The state is expecting to achieve cotton output of 23 lakh bales against 22.85 lakh bales last year.
Area under cotton in Haryana increased considerably this season to 5.27 lakh hectares against 4.55 lakh hectares last season, registering an increase of 16%. Similarly, the state is hoping to attain cotton output of 22 lakh bales against 18.58 lakh bales achieved last year.
“Over 90% of area in Punjab and Haryana was sown with Bt cotton seeds which led to the increase in yield and reduction in spraying of chemicals,” they said.