Farmers in Punjab, Haryana and northern Rajasthan have more than trebled their area planted to non-Bt desi cotton varieties and hybrids this year. This has happened even as total cotton acreage in this belt has shrunk, thanks to the widespread damage from whitefly pest attacks last year, making farmers less inclined to sow the fibre crop.
A total of 72,280 hectares area has come this year under desi non-Bt varieties and hybrids in the largely irrigated cotton belt of North-West India. That includes 36,932 hectares in Haryana, 21,924 hectares in Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh districts of North Rajasthan, and 13,424 hectares in Punjab. Last year, an estimated 9,000 hectares was sown under desi cottons in Haryana, 9,000-10,000 hectares in Rajasthan and a mere 4,000 hectares in Punjab.
courtesy : The Indian Express