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Cotton is a natural fiber harvested from the tropical and subtropical plant which is commercially grown to make cotton fabric and thread. The plant belongs to the family Malvaceae and genus Gossypium. It is one of the oldest fibers cultivated for centuries.
India is the largest producer of cotton in the world after China. The country has the largest area under cotton cultivation ranging between 11.9 million hectares to 12.8 million hectares, representing about 38% - 41% of the world area under cotton cultivation. But India's cotton yield average around 504 kgs to 566 kgs per hectare, far below the world average of about 701 Kgs to 766 kgs per hectare.
Planting of irrigated cotton in North and Central Zones of India starts in April - May while sowing of rain-fed cotton in Central Zone and part of the South Zone begins with the onset of South-west monsoon in June–July followed by planting of irrigated cotton in parts of South Zone. In India, nearly 60% area under cotton cultivation is rain-fed.
The cotton marketing season commences in October and extends up to February in the North Zone and up to April–May in the Central Zone and parts of the South Zone. The five months from January–May constitute major marketing months in the South Zone.
India is the only country to grow all four species of cultivated cotton: Gossypium arboreum and G.herbaceum (Asian cotton), G.barbadense (Egyptian cotton) and G.hirsutum (American Upland cotton).
India produce large number of varieties and hybrids; the number of varieties in cultivation exceeds 75. 25 cotton varieties contribute about 98 percent of the production.
India is an exporter as well as importer of cotton. India mainly exports inferior quality cotton to the United Kingdom. The inferior quality cotton is blended with superior quality cotton in Britain. India is a major importer of superior quality long staple cotton. Superior quality long staple cotton is imported to India from the USA, Russia, UAR, Sudan and Kenya.
Major cotton producing states in India are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.
The top three consumers of cotton are China, India and Pakistan, which together account for two thirds of the world's consumption.
China, India and US contribute together almost 60% of total global cotton production. However, out of them only US and India have a major share of 50% in global cotton exports. Major cotton producing countries are China, India, United States of America, Pakistan, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Australia, Turkey, Australia and Turkmenistan.
China was the world’s largest importer of cotton in 2015, with a share of around 20.2% of total cotton imports, followed by Bangladesh, Vietnam, Turkey, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Italy, Pakistan, United States, Mexico, Germany, Thailand, Honduras and Nigeria.
Main cotton exporting countries are China, India, United States, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, Germany, Uzbekistan, Australia, Indonesia, Spain and South Korea.
Cotton is traded in the commodity8 futures markets at NCDEX and MCX in India.
The major trading hubs of Cotton in India are:
Ahmedabad, Amreli, Anand, Bharuch, Bhavnagar, Charada (Gandhinagar), Junagadh, Kheda, Kutch, Kukarvada, Unava (Mehsana), Narmada, Navsari, Panchmahal, Patan, Rajkot, Sabarkantha, Surendranagar, Surat, Vadodara.
Ahmednagar, Akola, Amravati, Aurangabad, Beed, Buldhana, Chandrapur, Dhule, Hingoli, Jalgaon, Jalna, Latur, Nagpur, Nanded, Yeola (Nasik), Shahada (Nandurbar), Parbhani, Sangli, Gondawale (Satara), Washim, Wardha, Yeotmal.
Adilabad, Ananthapur, Pulivendula (Kadapa), Pitapuram (East Godavari), Guntur, Karimnagar, Khammam, KRISHNA, Kurnool, Shadnagar (Mahabubnagar), Medak, Nalgonda, Nellore, Bodhan, Madnoor (Nizamabad), Prakasam, Marpalle (Rangareddi), Warangal.
Bhiwani, Fatehabad, Hisar, Jind, Rohtak, Sirsa.
Badwani, Betul, Chhindwara, Dewas, Dhar, Harda, Hoshangabad, Jhabua, Khandwa, Khargone, Ratlam.
Bolangir, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Badasarapalli (Koraput), Umarkote (Nabarangpur), Rayagada.
Amritsar, Bathinda, Faridkot, Ferozpur, Jagraon (Ludhiana), Mansa, Moga, Mukatsar, Patran (Patiala), Sangrur.
Ajmer, Bikaner, Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh.
Panruti (Cuddalore), Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Erode, Madurai, Namakkal, Nagapattinam, Ariyalur, Pudukkottai, Perambalur, Ramnad, Salem, Sivagangai, Tiruchirapalli, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Theni, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Vellore, Villupuram, Virudhunagar.
Bagalkot, Belgaum, Bellary, Bijapur, Chamarajanagar, Chitradurga, Dharwad, Davangere, Gadag, Gulbarga, Haveri, Koppal, Mysore, Raichur, Shimoga, Uttara Kannada.
East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and Pondichery
Cotton Trading Markets:Andhra Pradesh(Guntur, Kurnool, ) Gujarat(Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Kadi, Surendranagar , ) Haryana(Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, ) Karnataka(Gulbarga, ) Madhya Pradesh(Indore, Khargone , Sidhi, Khategaon, ) Maharashtra(Amravati, Akola, Mumbai, Aurangabad, ) Punjab(Abohar, Ludhiana, Mansa , Bathinda, ) Rajasthan(Sri Ganganagar, ) Tamil Nadu(Pollachi, Coimbatore, ) Telangana(Karimnagar, Khammam, Warangal, Adilabad, )
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