April 20, 2024

India Faces Severe Cotton Seed Scarcity In Next Season

India is expected to face a severe scarcity of cotton seeds in the next cotton season as there has been a 30-40 percent drop in seed production this year and there is not much surplus to offset the loss.

“Only preventive policy action can help avert reduced acreage next year,” the Hindu Businessline quoted experts as saying.

During the kharif season of 2023, actual sales were 4.4 crore packets, each of 450 grams against availability of about 4.8 crore packets, said Ram Kaundinya, adviser at the Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII).

The industry had expected demand to grow to 4.8 crore packets from 4.2 crore packets in kharif 2022.

“The seeds production is estimated to have declined by 30-40 percent due to the long dry spell during the monsoon season. In many places even germination was an issue. For seed quality, the cotton crop has to be good in every aspect,” Kaundinya said.

“On an average three packets of seeds are required for two acres and, to match last year’s acreage of 289 lakh acres, there is need for nearly 4.3 crore packets of Bt cotton. This is impossible to meet,” said an industry expert.

Some experts said exports of cotton should be curbed to make the fibre available for domestic industry, with demand pegged higher than production at over 31 million bales.

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