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Vice president Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday flagged problems with India’s cotton production as a “serious issue", with average yields falling well below the global average even as prices soar. Urging industry and government to analyze the situation on a priority, he pressed for technology and research intervention besides proper seeds and counselling for farmers.

“Our country accounts for nearly 39% of the world’s area under cotton cultivation but accounts for only 23% of the yield. This is a serious issue and this has to be analyzed by the ministry, industry and researchers. It has to be analyzed why we are lacking behind in per acre cotton production," Naidu told the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry- Cotton Development and Research Association (CITI-CDRA) on its golden jubilee.

Naidu’s remarks come against the backdrop of international cotton prices nearly doubling over the last one year owing to a spike in global demand, impacting domestic apparel producers. Naidu said Turkey, China and Brazil have been able to achieve yields as high as 1,800 kg/hectare but India has a yield of only 460 kg/hectare, less than the global average of 800 kg/hectare.

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