Farmers expected to switch over to cotton

The area under paddy in Punjab and Haryana is likely to dip by up to 4 per cent during the Kharif sowing season of 201-12 as farmers may divert from paddy to cotton, which fetched record returns last season.

“This season, area under paddy will go down as farmers will be keen to switch over to cotton crop which brought them handsome returns last year,” a senior official of Punjab Agriculture Department told PTI here on Friday.

Punjab has projected an area of 27.50 lakh hectares under paddy crop in the coming Kharif season, which is lower than 28.31 lakh hectares of area under paddy last year.

The output is projected at 161.23 lakh tonnes, a tad lower than 161.75 lakh tonne produced last season.

Paddy sowing will start from June 10 in Punjab, which is a major contributor of rice to the Central pool, with a contribution of about 30 per cent.

Punjab is expecting a substantial jump in the area under cotton cultivation to 5.70 lakh hectares, which is 87,000 hectares more than what it was during the last season. “Area under cotton in the State will jump by 20 per cent this season with a higher output of 21.80 lakh bales,” the official said.

Similarly, the neighbouring State of Haryana is also anticipating reduction in area under paddy this year and has projected an area of 12 lakh hectares under paddy crop, as against 12.45 lakh hectares last year.

Cotton crop would find more growers this time in Haryana and the area under it is likely to go up by 22 per cent to 6 lakh hectares. Last year, the area under cotton stood at 4.92 lakh hectares.

With area under cotton set to rise, production is also expected to jump to 25.44 lakh bales as compared 17.44 lakh bales during the last season in the State. - PTI

  • Cotton yielded handsome returns last Kharif

  • Punjab: 27.50 lakh hectares expected to take up paddy sowing; less by 28.31 hectares from 2010