ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Private Investment-Unconvincing Alibi

mutter, the fact that prices are near the levels of the year before is no particular reason for comfort. More than the level of prices, it is the sharp fall in them that is relevant. The question is whether violent fluctuations in prices such as these are conducive to the sub- stantial investment in cotton cultivation by farmers which is involved in the adoption of improved varieties such as Ifybrid-24. In Gujarat, for instance, cultivation of Hybrid-24 expanded from scratch to 25,000 acres in 1970-71 and is known to have registered a further sharp rise in 1970-71. No one in the government appears to have looked at the recent trend in cotton prices from the viewpoint of how it might affect the further spread of this new variety. Nor is it wholly a matter of prices. As much a matter for consideration is the pace at which the crop had been moving. According to one estimate, in the first three months of the marketing season for Gujarat cotton, only 9 lakh bales out of an estimated output of 25 lakh bales have been sold. It may well be that cultivators are holding on in the hope of better prices fast as it is possible that the traders are holding back in the expectation of a tuither fall in prices, but what is material is that the marketing of this major crop has got clogged at a time when the long awaited varietal breakthrough is just making its appearance.

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