Minister for Agriculture S. Niranjan Reddy has stated that high density planting system of (HDPS) cotton cultivation would save wastage of land, water for irrigation and labour costs and it’s for the agriculture extension officers to guide the farming community whether to go for it or not based on the size of land holdings. At a workshop for Agriculture Extension Officers (AEOs), Mandal Agriculture Officers (MAOs), Assistant Directors of Agriculture (ADAs) and District Agriculture Officers (DAOs) held here on Tuesday on HDPS cotton cultivation in the ensuing Kharif (Vanakalam) season, the Minister suggested that the agriculture officers encourage single pick cotton varieties too.

Stating that cotton could be sown till July 15, the Minister cautioned the farming community against sowing the seed at least before two good rains as limited moisture content in the soil with just one good shower could lead to poor germination percentage as the heat generated in the soil with the first rain would adversely impact the germination capacity of the seed. Rythu Bandhu Samithi (RBS) Chairman P. Rajeshwar Reddy, Secretary (Agriculture) M. Raghunandan Rao, Special Commissioner (Agriculture) Hanmanth K. Zendagi, Director (Research) of PJTSAU R. Jageeshwar and others also addressed the agriculture officers at the workshop. The Minister stressed the need to scale up productivity of cotton in the country as it was very low compared to other countries such as the US, China, Brazil and others.

“Production of cotton is three times that of India in China and the US although the extent of cultivation is only about one-fourth of India’s. Against the cultivation of cotton in about 3.2 crore acres in India, the fibre crop is grown only in about 80 lakh acres each in the two countries. If the cotton productivity in the country reaches global level, the production would meet the entire demand of the world”, Mr. Niranjan Reddy explained. In countries like Brazil, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the other major cotton growing countries, the crop is cultivated in an extent from 18 lakh acres to 50 lakh acres, the Minister said. In India, Maharashtra was the largest cultivator of cotton followed by Telangana and Gujarat. He stressed the need for increase in use of technology and mechanisation in agriculture to reduce the costs of cultivation. The State Government had been educating farmers on the need for diversification in the cropping patterns based on the market demands for the last three years.