Chandigarh(Narinder Jagga): Despite a good quality, the White gold (Cotton) of Punjab has been losing its shine in the National Market. Known as cash crop, the area under crop has been declining. 15 years ago, the area under the crop was more than 7.5 lacs hectare, which has now decreased to 2.84 lacs hectare. There are few main reasons behind the fall in area which include reportedly poor role played by Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and lack of water availability at proper time, which led the farmers to produce Basmati. But the Punjab has put his case strongly in the Cotton Advisory Board’s meeting, which was held in Mumbai, few days ago and in which it was admitted by Organisers, in principal that the CCI will start commercial purchase of cotton in coming season.According to information, the Punjab produces long-staple quality of cotton, but the price of its product is given according to medium staple. The Government of India had fixed medium staple cotton rate Rs 4020 per quintal MSP and Rs 4320 per quintal of long staple cotton, for the year of 2017-18. Punjab has more than 98 per cent of area under hybrid cotton (BT) which has long staple. Such attitude of the Central Government has disappointed to decrease the cotton crop. According to Punjab Agriculture Department, only 2.84 lacs hectare under cotton has been recorded against the target of 4 lacs hectare this season, while in last year, the area under the cotton was 3.82 lacs hectare. This time this issue was discussed in the meeting of Cotton Advisory Board, in Mumbai, three days ago, where the representative from Punjab, Jasbir Singh Bains, Director Punjab Agriculture Department, put the case of Punjab and told if the farmers are paid price of low staple cotton, they will prefer to sow basmati instead of cotton. He also advocated that the Government of India has not been adopting the price economic as in the matter of Paddy. But if the attractive prices are given then farmers ‘will prefer to go for diversification from traditional crops. Punjab has eight districts under cotton belt including Bathinda, Mansa, Mukatsar Sahib, Fazilka, Barnala Moga, Faridkot, and Sangrur. Notable, last season cotton price which was started from Rs 4,000 to 4,100 per quintal which went up to Rs 5,200 per quintal while farmers got around Rs 3,000 to 3,500 per quintal basmati. On an average, 10-12 quintals cotton is harvested from one acre while Basamati yield is around 18-20 quintals per acre.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook