Showing Page:
1/26
Cotton
Cotton, the white gold, is the world’s leading fibre crop and the second most important
oilseed crop. Cotton production, processing and trade provide livelihood and employment
to several millions of people. Export of raw cotton, yarn textile garment, cotton seed cake
etc owns valuable for an exchange. Cotton fibre is preferred in apparel textiles and
garments because of its hydrophilic properties and hence despite severe competition from
synthetic fibre, cotton continues to enjoy a place of pride in textile industry. The demand
for cotton for technical textile-medical (surgical/ absorbent cotton), geo textile etc. has
been increasing of late. Besides fibre, cotton is also valued for its oil and cotton seed cake
and several others by products.
1. History
There are two distinct geographical origin of cultivated cotton namely Asia and pre-
Columbian America. The first cotton fabric dates back to approximately as early as 3200
B.C. as revealed by fragments of cloth found at the Mohenjo-Daro archeological site on
the bank of river Indus (Sindhu). From India cotton textiles probably passed to
Mesopotamia, where the trade started around 600 years B.C. Some authorities trace back
origin of cultivated cotton to pre-Columbian civilization of meso America (particularly in
Peru and Guatemala). It is argued that cotton spread to Mexico from this region and
civilization.
Santhanam and Hutchinson (1974) summarized origin of indigenous cottons. Species of
Gossypium harbaceum (Linn.) have been found from the coastal strip of North-west of
Karachi (Pakistan) through Northen Baluchistan to South Yemen, Ethopia and Sudan and
even in West-Africa, South of the Sahara. Species of Gossypium arboreum (Linn) were
recorded by Watt (1971) in Kathiawar, Gujarat, Khandesh and the Deccan peninsula in
India. It seems likely that it was in Gujarat (India) or Sind (Pakistan) that Gossypium
arboreum (Linn) cotton were first cultivated (Hutchinson, 1971). Two centres of
variability exist for the two American cultivated cotton, Gossypium hirsutum (Linn) in
southern Mexico and Guatemala and Gossypium barbadens (Linn) in Northern Peru. In an
Showing Page:
2/26
attempt to develop an alternative source of supply (apart from America), the East India
Company introduced exotic cottons (new world cotton varieties) into India and initiated a
large numbers of trails.
2. Classification
Kingdom:-Plantae
Division:-Magnoliophyta
Class:-Magnoliopsida
Order:-Malvales
Family:-Malvaceae
Genus:-Gossypium
Species: - harbaceum, arboretum, hirsutum, barbadense
There are about 50 species of cotton plants. They are found in both the Old and New
Worlds, mainly in the tropics and subtropics. Of these, four have been cultivated: -
1) Gossypium herbaceum: (2n=26) Plant length 1-1.2m. Flower colour: - yellowish. Fibre
length 20-26mm. Cultivated in India, China, Pakistan.
2) Gossypium hirsutum :( 2n=4x=52) Plant length 3-4m. Flower colour: - yellowish. Fibre
length 25-35mm. mainly cultivated in South America.
3) Gossypium arboreum :( 2n=26) Plant length 2-2.5m. Flower colour: - reddish. Fibre
length 15-30mm. Cultivated in mainly in America also in India, China, Pakistan.
4) Gossypum barbadense :(2n=26) Plant length about 5m. Flower colour: -yellow. Fibre
length 30-69mm. Egyptian and Sea Island high quality cotton.
3. Area, Production and Productivity
Cotton crop is grown in more than 80 countries across the world and planted in an area of
31.8 million hectares (2017-18). India commands highest share globally (36%) in terms of
area under cultivation. Global cotton production is estimated at 24,963 million kg. India is
Showing Page:
3/26
the largest producer of cotton accounting for one-fourth of the global cotton production.
However, India’s productivity is much lower than other top cotton growing countries.
India has occupied a top position in cotton production since 2015-16. It was already
holding first position in cotton coverage in the world. Australia (1737kgs/ha) holds highest
productivity level.
Major Cotton growing countries along with their area, production and productivity:-
Country
Area(Mha)
Production(Million
kg)
Productivity(kg/ha)
India
11.3(36%)
6132(25%)
541
U.S.A
4.5(14%)
4468(18%)
999
China
3.2(10%)
5017(20%)
1558
Pakistan
2.7(9%)
1952(8%)
717
Uzbekistan
1.2(4%)
800(3%)
662
Brazil
1.0(3%)
1555(6%)
1561
Australia
305 ha
997(4%)
1737
Source:-ICAC, 2017
Indian Cotton statistics (2016-17)
Name of state
Area(lakhs ha)
Production(Million
bales of 170 kg)
Productivity(kg/ha)
Punjab
0.26
0.90
598
Haryana
0.50
2.00
683
Rajasthan
0.44
1.80
692
Northern Zone
1.20
4.70
668
Gujarat
2.40
9.50
673
Maharashtra
3.81
8.90
398
M.P.
0.60
2.10
596
Showing Page:
4/26
Central Zone
6.81
20.50
512
Telangana
1.25
4.80
653
Andhra Pradesh
0.45
1.90
719
Karnataka
0.46
2.10
769
Tamil Nadu
0.15
0.60
680
Southern Zone
2.31
9.40
691
Orissa
0.14
0.30
375
Others
0.05
0.20
680
Total
10.50
35.10
568
Source:-CCI (2016-17)
4. GROWTH STAGE OF COTTON
Cotton is an indeterminate plant exhibiting overlapping vegetative and reproductive
growth phases and these phases cannot be clearly demarcated. The duration of the
different phases depends upon the variety, latitude, climate and management practices.
These phases can broadly be differentiated into:
A. Germination phase:-Under optimum ambient conditions, the germination and the
emergence are completed in 4-7 days.
B. Early vegetative phase:- This phase is characterized by a rapid root growth, slow
growth of the main shoot and emergence of the first true leaves. This is followed by the
growth of main stem and the differentiation of early monopodial branches.
C. Squaring:- The first square (flower bud) appears between 35 and 70 days after
germination depending on the variety location and crop husbandry. The squaring
continues till maturity.
D. Flowering:-The first flower appears about 20-35 days after appearance of the first
square and flowering continues for about 60-80 days or more depending upon the
availability of soil moisture. However, the peak flowering period is from 70-100 days after
germination.
E. Boll development:- This period commences from flowering and continues till maturity.
During the first 15-18 days after the fertilization of the flower, bolls attain 90 per cent of
their final size. The elongation of lint fibres in the boll is completed in 21-24 days. The
Showing Page:
5/26