Despite India’s largest cotton acreage, yields are very low and, if that persists, the country may become a ‘net importer of cotton,’ speakers warned at the 2016-2017 ‘Indian Cotton Scenario in the Current Context’ conference. India needs better real-time cotton data, and all bales pressed here should be recorded with a digital label. The country has the largest cotton acreage, but yields are very small, and regional cotton associations should educate farmers and also take up programs to help collect real-time data, said Rakesh Rathi, president of the Indian Cotton Association (ICA) at the inaugural address of the Cotton Association

Senthil Kumar, chairman of the Southern India Mills Association, echoing Rathi ‘s concerns, added, “Cotton acreage, quality and productivity have been declining since the last two seasons and we are apprehensive about India becoming a net importer of cotton”

He shared the concern that textile mills would not be having cotton at the right time and at a high price in the immediate future.

At the meeting, the other stakeholders called for measures to improve cotton production that would help both the farmers and industry. (AR)-( AR)