Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Mar 03, 2004
Agri-Biz & Commodities
More textile mills queue up for cotton contract farming in Punjab
Coimbatore , March 2
THE Punjab-based integrated textile conglomerate, Vardhman group, has sought to expand its contract farming in that State by adopting more cotton villages this year.
The Rs 1,900-crore Ludhiana-based textile group'sexperiment in contractual cotton farming in Punjab during last season has opened up more new vistas in cotton village development..
Its experiment in adoption of cotton farmers at Nava Pind village (in Talwandi Saboo district) has also led to more textile mills from the northern region willing to join the cotton village adoption plan aimed at lifting the per-acre cotton yield and the quality of the natural fibre through the agri-university-supervised agronomical practices.
The other major textile groups from northern region expected to figure in the contract cotton farming list in Punjab during 2004-05 season are Nahar, Trident, Aarti and Winsome, JCT and GPI.
This was stated at a presentation made by Vardhman group on the Nava Pind cotton village adoption programme during the all-India cotton trade conference held here last week.
The Vardhman model of contract farming followed in the Nava Pind village involves 121 cotton farmers with a total cotton area of 1,241 acres.
The model, according to the presentation, centred on creating a farmers' field school in the village itself to expedite transfer of technology from lab to field.
The crop management awareness programmes were disseminated in these field schools with the help of the Punjab Agricultural University scientists and the Punjab State Agriculture Department.
The programme highlighted integrated crop management, pest management and clean cotton picking besides the hands-on training at cotton research stations.
The presentation stated that the average kapas cotton yield in the adopted village during the season went up to 24 maunds (800 kg of linted cotton) per acre as against the previous year's yield of 11.5 maund (383 kg of lint).
The average crop expenditure incurred by the farms too came down to Rs 7,112 per acre against Rs 7,595.
The cotton village adoption programme of Vardhman for 2004-05 proposes to extend it to 10 villages (in two clusters) in Batinda district (around Maur cotton belt) and Ferozpur (around Abohar) district.
The crop area in these cotton villages to be covered under the programme would be around 35,000 acres from this year's 1,241 acres. Last year, Vardhaman exported Rs 440 crore of yarn.
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