According to the latest estimates by agencies like Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) indicate that cotton output in the country will be 25 lakh bales less than the previous year. The latest estimate received by Maharashtra Cotton Growers' Federation shows that the national production is expected to be at 350 lakh bales.
In Maharashtra, projections have been reduced to 60-65 lakh bales from over 75 lakh bales earlier from the national and state production at 375 lakh and 80 lakh bales respectively reported last year.
However, national research agency Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) anticipates the output to be at least equal to the last year. From the regional perspective, both Vidarbha and Marathwada areas, prime cotton growing regions faced a severe drought this year that impacted the cotton produce. And while the production is expected to be higher in Vidarbha compared to Marathwada, traders in Marathwada are offering around Rs 4,200 a quintal, as against Rs 4,150 in Vidarbha because of the quality.
The situation is slightly better than the last year in Yavatmal, known for suicides by cotton farmers. But as compared to the general average yield, even this year's harvest is too less. Farmers may reap 7 to 8 quintals a hectare, as compared to an average of 12 quintals.