Gujarat cotton growing farmers have suddenly stopped cotton picking and switched to winter crops cultivation due pest infestation has affected the crop drastically.
The pink bollworm had started signing its presence in the mid-October obstructed the crop prospects and reduced the expected yield productivity. farmers found that after second rounds of cotton harvesting, the cotton field about Five acres were infested with dreaded pink bollworms.
‘No worthwhile picking the Cotton’
“The threat is getting worse day by day and effecting the crop yield. In the first harvest we got about 250 kg. of raw cotton from one acre, but the second pick reduced drastically to just about 180 kg. Hence we have decided to uproot the plants and go for alternative winter crops like wheat,” a local farmer Shri. Kadiwar told.
Similarly, Ramesh Bhorania, a farmer from Rajkot said that cotton growing farmers have understood the cost advantage in jumping over to winter crops. “The labour costs of cotton harvesting wouldn’t match the price of cotton and finally it will result into a loss-making proposition. So, farmers have understood this proposition and are moving to winter crops such as wheat, mustard and chana,” he said.
In parts of Saurashtra region, which has a total 37.93 lakh acres of area under cotton across 11 districts has similar story. Gujarat’s cotton sowing is projected at 56.31 lakh acres, which is about 9.61 lakh acres lower than previous year. But, the Cotton Association of India (CAI) has ruled out any extensive impact of pink bollworm on currently standing cotton crop.
Atul Ganatra, President, CAI, said, “There is nothing to be panic about the crop losses we see a very minor damage to the crop at present. The fresh arrivals have met the record in the first two months of the current season. By November-end we will have new cotton in market of about 90 lakh bales (each of 170 kg) , that will be a record of the past years.” This shows that about 25% of the overall forecasted crop will reach in the first two months of the season. Generally, the quantity of arrivals in the first two months float between 15-20 per cent.
As per the national wide information(data), cotton arrivals on Monday were recorded at over 3 lakh bales including 55,000 bales in North India, 65,000 bales in Gujarat, 62,000 in Maharashtra and Telangana each, among others.
“This shows that the harvest size is satisfactory. The farmers were not intent to sell their crop due the prices were floating lower at around ₹4,000-5,000 per quintal for raw cotton (kapas), which has increased to about ₹5,000-6,000 now supported by overall bullish sentiment. Farmers are hurrying to sell their kapas stocks as the prices are raising at high,” Mr. Ganatra mentioned.