Cotton acreage in the northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are expected to increase in the forthcoming kharif season. Cotton growers are likely to switch back to cotton from cereals mainly paddy following higher price of cotton. According to cottonseed makers, farmers and traders, acreage under the crop will increase by around 20-25 per cent in 2017 -18 kharif season over last year’s acreage of 11.96 lakh hectares.
Cotton acreage in North India, which stood at a high of 15.55 lakh hectares in 2014-15, declined to 13.90 lakh ha in the following year and reached a low of 11.96 lakh ha in 2016-17 amid rising pest attacks and declining yields. Cotton prices are ruling firm in the country on lower availability and steady demand in the domestic market. Cotton has yielded better returns in 2016-17 compared with other competing crops.
(Source: The Hindu Business Line)