Area under cotton in Punjab to drop by 60,000 hectares | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Area under cotton in Punjab to drop by 60,000 hectares

The area under cotton in Punjab is likely to drop by 60,000 hectares this kharif season with farmers likely to switch over to guar crop, a state government official said.

chandigarh Updated: Apr 01, 2012 14:59 IST

The area under cotton in Punjab is likely to drop by 60,000 hectares this kharif season with farmers likely to switch over to guar crop, a state government official said on Saturday.

The area under cotton is expected to be five lakh hectares this year as compared to 5.6 lakh hectares last year as some of the area under cultivation is likely to be used for guar crop, which has been fetching good prices in the market, state financial commissioner (development) GS Sandhu said in a meeting with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday.

Badal said there should not be black marketing of Bt cotton seeds during the sowing season from April to May. It was also decided that rates of Bt cotton seeds would not be raised during the current year despite BT cotton seed firms demanding a steep hike in the rates.

The chief minister said the rates prevalent last year would continue this year as well. Against a demand of 25 lakh packets of Bt cotton seeds, 26 seed companies have assured supply of more than 35 lakh packets of the seeds. Thus, there would be no shortage of Bt cotton seeds.

During the meeting it was decided that to ensure proper and fair distribution of cotton seeds, Punjab Markfed, a marketing federation of over 3,000 societies, would distribute nine lakh packets to the farmers through cooperatives societies as well as open sale.