Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

Punjab's Cotton Sowing Falls Short of Target, Reaches Only 58% of the Planned 3 Lakh Hectares

Farmers have chosen not to sow cotton – despite a price higher than MSP fetched last year – because of the threat of whitefly and pink bollworm attack.

Image Courtesy:Pxfuel

Punjab has failed to achieve its target of sowing cotton on 3 lakh hectares due to inclement weather and lower profits compared to paddy.

This year, the Punjab government has offered a 33% subsidy on Bt Cotton seed, as per the recommendation by Punjab Agricultural University.

However, at the end of the sowing season, the cotton crop was sown on around 1.75 lakh hectares – marking only 58% of the target, according to a report by The Tribune.

Last year, while the target was 4 lakh hectares, the crop was sown on 2.48 lakh hectares (62% of the target).

According to reports, farmers have chosen not to sow cotton – despite a price higher than MSP fetched last year – because of the threat of whitefly and pink bollworm attack.

A senior official in the Agriculture Department was quoted as saying: “Initially, May 20 was decided as the last date for sowing cotton. Later, it was extended to May 31. Around 1.75 lakh hectares are under cotton cultivation this year. Fazilka is the only district which has performed better.”

Fazilka Chief Agriculture Officer Jangir Singh pointed to the timely availability of canal water for the good performance of the district. The cotton crop was sown on 90,850 hectares this year against the target of 1.5 lakh hectares.

He was quoted saying by The Tribune: “Even 33% subsidy on the cotton seeds helped us this year. Though the weather played spoilsport, we brought the maximum area under the cotton crop.”

The cotton crop is mainly sown in Fazilka, Bathinda, Mansa and Muktsar districts.

According to a report by The Indian Express, Punjab’s cotton belt comprises eight districts of which Bathinda, Fazilka, Mansa and Muktsar make up the lion’s share. The other districts in the belt are Moga, Barnala, Sangrur and Faridkot. Fazilka is followed by Mansa this year where farmers have completed sowing cotton in nearly 39% of the targeted 60,000 hectares. Bathinda follows closely with sowing done on 35.4% of the targeted area.

Gurpreet Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer, Muktsar, was quoted as saying by The Tribune: “Farmers are opting for the paddy crop due to its high yield and late sown varieties. Last year, the average cotton yield per acre remained four to six quintals per acre and the price varied from Rs 7,500 to Rs 8,000 per quintal. However, the paddy yield touched 30 quintals per acre and the MSP was Rs 2,060 per quintal.”

Amid the threat of whitefly and pink bollworm attack, a farmer told the daily that a majority of the farmers are not aware of the latest damage control methods. “The weather is unfavourable and some farmers have resown the crop. The input costs have increased manifold,” he said.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram