Cotton acreage in Haryana fell short of target by more than 90,000 hectares this year due to the second wave of the Covid epidemic and farmers turning to other crops such as groundnuts. As of Monday, the crop has been planted on 6.72 lakh hectares, compared to the state’s Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department’s objective of 7.62 lakh hectares.
Haryana’s agricultural department has a major strategy to persuade farmers to switch from rice to cotton. However, the second wave of the pandemic hindered the department’s field efforts. Following the release of the crop’s MSP, several farmers in Palwal switched to pulses, while others along the Rajasthan border in Sirsa and Fatehabad switched to groundnuts.
According to Gurjeet Singh Mann, a farmer from Sirsa, farmers in Bhiwani and Mahendragarh experienced low cotton yields last year due to whitefly, crop withering, and nutrient shortage caused by rain. He stated that while agricultural yields were not up to expectations last year, farmers received a good return on their produce due to higher pricing.
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