SIMA launches ELS organic cotton contract farming pilot in Tamil Nadu

Coimbatore-based Precot Limited recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SIMA Cotton Development & Research Association (SIMA CD & RA) for extra-long staple (ELS) organic cotton cultivation by supplying all inputs free to farmers and guaranteeing to procure cotton at market price. The MoU was signed for pilot production over 500 acres at Semmandipatti village in Namakkal district.

“The organic ELS cotton will have staple length of over 33 mm and would be suitable for production of organic yarn of counts up to 80s. The crop duration is around 160 days and expected to offer a productivity of 10 quintals per acre,” R Ravichandran, SIMA CD & RA chairman, said in a press release.

Though India has become the largest producer of cotton in the world, the country faces acute shortage of ELS cotton as the Bt variety introduced in 2003 was only for long staple cotton. The country consumes around 20 lakhs bales of ELS cotton while it produces only 4-5 lakhs bales in a year and imports around 15 lakh bales of such cotton.

“The government of India has been encouraging promotion of ELS cotton and is in the process of announcing a scheme shortly,” Ravichandran said. “As the organic certification agency and Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority have tightened the norms for organic cotton cultivation, the industry is facing acute shortage of organic cotton.”

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