India is one of the leading cotton producing countries in the world. The fibre of the cotton crop is used as raw material for the textile industries whereas oil extracted from its seeds is used in the vanaspati industry. Cotton seeds are also used as a cattle feed.
Cotton require a moderate rainfall of about 75 cm and a cloud free weather for about 150 days at the time of flowering and ball opening. Well drained black soils of the Deccan Plateau is considered ideal for its cultivation, though it is also grown on alluvial soils of the northern plains.
India produces about 8 per cent of the world’s cotton and is the fourth largest producing country after USA, China and Russia. However, the quality of cotton is rather poor. Therefore, the long staple cotton is imported to make good quality of fibre.
The good quality of cotton is grown in Punjab and Haryana. Leading producers of cotton in India are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.