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India: Maharashtra identifies cotton growing areas

Some 115 tehsils have been declared as cotton growing areas in Maharashtra. Out of these, around 55 are in Vidarbha region alone. A tehsil is defined as one with cotton production of 9,600 tons per annum. This is the amount of cotton production needed to sustain a co-operative spinning mill.

The objective is to identify tehsils where co-operative spinning mills can be set up under the new textile policy. The decision of declaring 115 tehsils as cotton growing will have a long-term impact on the growth of the textile sector in a planned manner.

In the past, spinning mills were set up in parts of Maharashtra that were not cotton producing. The new policy ensures this mismatch is done away with and the foundation of a properly planned cotton-to-cloth chain development is laid.

The number of cotton growing tehsils in various districts is as follows: Jalgaon 15, Ahmednagar one, Aurangabad and Amravati nine each, Jalna, Nanded, and Akola seven each, Beed five, Parbhani and Nagpur six each, Hingoli two, Buldhana and Wardha eight each, Yavatmal 13 and Chandrapur four.

Jalgaon and Yavatmal are the districts with the highest number of cotton growing tehsils.