Vidarbha experiment with desi cotton to be extended to 10 states

CICR says it got yields as high as 25 to 30 quintals per acre using high density plantation of non-Bt cotton varieties

cotton

The Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) will this year extend its high density plantation system (HDPS) experiment with non-Bt cotton varieties to 10 states in the country. These include both traditional cotton growing states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Karnataka, and new states like Odisha and West Bengal, informed K R Kranthi, director of the institute.

Talking to DTE, Kranthi said that this was a follow-up on CICR’s last year’s experiments with HDPS in non-Bt cotton in Maharashtra  which was carried out on 440 acres (one acre equals 0.4 hectare) of land in eight cotton-growing districts in the state. “We would have liked to keep the experiment within Maharashtra for now,” he said, while adding, “in view of the fact that breeding programmes for compact varieties suitable for HDPS has only just started in India, and it will take us a few years to identify suitable varieties.” Currently, he said that CICR was using existing varieties for its experiments.

Low cost, sustainable option

He said that keen interest from farmers and farmer groups from cotton–growing states like Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh forced CICR to consider an extension. “Our experiment will be carried out on 2,600 acres in ten states, out of which 700 acres belong to farmers who have voluntarily joined the programme.”

He said that the experiment aimed to set up low-cost sustainable system of cotton cultivation for rainfed areas with shallow soil, but that it was too early to compare the results with Bt cotton. “Last year, we got yields varying from 25 to 30 quintals per acre in areas where early sowing was done and good care taken, to a mere 6-7 quintals in other areas,” he said.
 

‘Farmers are not casino players’

‘Farmers are not casino players’

Micha X Peled, US-based Israeli filmmaker, has won 22 international awards for his globalisation trilogy, the last of which was a film on farmer suicides in Vidarbha, Bitter Seeds. He was recently in Vidarbha to screen the film in the village where it was shot, Tailang Takdi in Yavatmal, the heartland of farmer suicides. He talked to Aparna Pallavi. Excerpts

Natural cotton gets brown hue

Natural cotton gets brown hue

Indian scientists develop a variety of coloured cotton, characterised by stability of lint colour, spinnable fibre quality and a fairly good yield

‘Farmers are not casino players’

‘Farmers are not casino players’

Micha X Peled, US-based Israeli filmmaker, has won 22 international awards for his globalisation trilogy, the last of which was a film on farmer suicides in Vidarbha, Bitter Seeds. He was recently in Vidarbha to screen the film in the village where it was shot, Tailang Takdi in Yavatmal, the heartland of farmer suicides. He talked to Aparna Pallavi. Excerpts

Author(s): Aparna Pallavi

Organic thread

Even as Bt cotton invaded Indian fields in the past few years, some farmer groups kept pushing for organic cotton. In 2009-10, production in India propelled world organic cotton production to an all-time high of 241,697 tonnes. But soon, many farmers realised that organic farming takes years of sustained efforts to get full benefits. With no support from government, that favours Bt cotton, many farmers are reverting to chemical farming. Aparna Pallavi reports from the cotton belt of Maharasthra and Madhya Pradesh, and M Suchitra from Andhra Pradesh. Jyotika Sood writes about international non-profits that are venturing into alternative methods of sustainable cotton production

Organic thread

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