Cash Crops- Cotton


•Cash crops are those which are grown not primarily as a source of food, such as grains but mainly as raw materials for the industries
•Main cash crops are : sugarcane, oilseeds, cotton, jute, tea, coffee, tobacco and rubber
•Grown mostly on plantations
•Play important play a significant role in the economy of the country.
•These crops not only provide raw material for several industries, but also are valuable foreign exchange earners

Important fibre crops of India.
•Provides the basic raw material (cotton fibre) to cotton textile industry.
•4th largest producers of cotton
•Largest area under cultivation
•Produces 10% of the total world output

•IS A SHRUB about 1 to 1.5 m high, with large leaves and yellow flowers
•Flowers develop into cottonseed pods. Inside a white fibrous substance covers the seed. These seeds are known as ‘bolls’. These on maturity, burst open to reveal a fluffy mass of long white lint hairs covering a mass of brown seeds.
•Quality of cotton depends on length of fibres, fineness, strength and colour. Cotton with fibres over 2.8cm in length is called ‘long staple’ which is considered the best.

This picture shows the plant flowering. As the flower becomes mature, it develops into a cotton boll.

•Most of the cotton grown in India as the ‘short staple’ variety with a fibre length of 2.2cm.
•Tropical and subtropical crop grown upto 40 degree N latitude.

Here is a picture of a young cotton boll
(the cotton boll is inside the white square). The boll contains the cotton and the seeds

This is a mature cotton boll that is ready to be harvested.

The combine used to harvest cotton is called a cotton picker.

This is cotton seed. The seed on the left still has the lint left on it. In contrast, the seed on the right had the lint removed (by acid). Also, the seed on the right, which will be used for planting, has been treated with a chemical to prevent diseases and insects.


SOILS: grown on variety of soils – black cotton soil of the Deccan Plateau which has the ability to retain moisture
•Grows well in in light and alluvial soils of Sutlej-Ganga plains and red laterite soils of the Peninsular regions.

TEMPERATURE: needs mild, cool , preferably dry climate with 21 degree C to 27 degree C temperature.
•Needs of plenty of sunshine.
•Warm days and cool nights are good for the devp of the boll and fibre in the first stage at the time of fruition.

RAINFALL: 50 cm to 80 cm, - must be well distributed throughout the year
•Stagnant water and excessive are harmful to the plant

SOWING: In most part of the country, cotton is cultivated as a kharif crop.
•It is sown at the onset of the monsoon.
•Seeds are usually sown by broadcasting or drilling method.
•Weeding is required during the growth of the plant.

The crops are harvested in October in hot and humid conditions which helps in the ripening and the bursting of the cotton bolls.
•The bolls are picked entirely by hand. The picking season lasts from Nov to Feb when conditions are dry. There are three to four pickings as the bolls keep maturing.
•The plants are need to be protected from various pests and diseases by using insecticides and fungicides at time to time.

PROCESSING: Raw cotton has to be undergone through ginning to separate the seeds from the raw material called lint. Finally the lint is tightly packed into bales and sent to the mills for spinning.

Time to spinning

AREAS: India has the largest area under cotton cultivation though it is not the largest producer
•Leading producers – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh
•Punjab and Haryana grow long staple variety.

USES: After ginning, oil is extracted from the cotton seed and used for making vanaspathi, margarine and soap
•The residue is used as cattle feed.
a. State two geographical requirements for the growth of cotton.
The following geographical conditions are required for the production of cotton:
TEMPERATURE: The cotton requires temperature between 200C to 270C. It requires abundant sunshine
during its growth.Frost is harmful for the plant.
RAINFALL: Cotton requires moderate to light rainfall. Rainfall ranging between 50cm to100cm is
adequate. Frost free days are must during picking days.
SOIL : Deep domat (loamy) and black soil is highly suitable for cotton because these soils have the
property of retaining moisture. It can be grown on a wide variety of soils including light sandy soil under

b. Name the most important fibre which is used as fibre crop for clothing.
Cotton is the most important fibre which is used as fibre crop.

c. How is the cotton graded commercially?
Commercially cotton is graded according to the length, fineness and strength of the staple. Mainly there are three varieties of staple.
i) Short staple - less than 2.2 cm
ii) Medium staple- 2.2 cm to 2.8cm
iii) Long staple - above 2.8 cm
Long staple is considered the best.

d. Name some leading cotton producing states. Name the state with high productivity of cotton.
Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana are leading producers of cotton.

e. “Cotton requires warm days and cool nights and grows best on irrigated land in hot climate”. Why?
Warm days and cool nights during the fruiting stage are good for the development of the boll and fibre.
rain during fruiting stage may result in the fibre becoming mouldy and discoloured.

f. Name a cash crop which is also a kharif crop.

g. Which state in India produces the largest quantity of raw cotton? Mention any two climatic conditions that favour the growing of cotton in the state mentioned by you in (i) above.
Gurarat produces the largest quantity of raw cotton.
· 21 degree C to 270C temperature is required for growing cotton which is found in Gujarat.
· Well distributed rain ranging between 50 cm to 80 cm is required which is available in Gujarat.

h. Name two states which produce long staple cotton. Name any two insects that attack cotton.
Punjab and Haryana.
Boll weevils and wilt attack cotton.

i. Mention any two climatic conditions which should prevail during the harvesting of cotton. What is lint?
During the harvesting, there should be no rainfall and the temperature should be high. These conditions help in the ripening and bursting of cotton bolls.
The raw materialfrom which the seeds have been removed is called lint.

j. Why is cotton grown widely in the Deccan Plateau?
Cotton is widely grown in the Deccan Plateau because:
· Favourable climate: Cotton needs a warm climate. Summer temperature of 210C to 270C and abundant sunshine is necessary during the growth of the plant. These conditions prevail in the Deccan Plateau.
· Soil: Cotton grows well in the black soil which have the property of retaining moisture. Most parts of the Deccan Plateau have black soil.

k. State two main ways by which cotton production in India has shown an increase in recent years.
* India is the first to develop hybrid cotton variety leading to increased production.
* Production scenario has considerably changed. Punjab has emerged as the major producer.

l. Explain the term ‘Ginning’.
GINNING is associated with cotton. Ginning is a process by which seeds are separated from the fibre.

j. What is meant by the term ‘oil cake’?
Oil cake is a by-product of cotton seeds. The cotton seeds are used to extract the oil and the residue is known as Oil cake and is used as livestock feed.

k. Write a short note on processing of cotton.
After harvesting the cotton crop passes through the following process:
i) After the cotton has picked, either by machine or by hand, it is ginned. Ginning is a process used to separate the
fibres or lint from the seeds and the short fibres or linters which adhere to them.
ii. The seeds may be crushed to yield oil, the residue being used for cattle fodder.
iii. The cotton lint itself is baled for transport to the manufacturing regions.
iv. The fibres are washed and then combed to form a rope-like mass of fibres known as silver.
v. The silver is fed to the spindles and spun to make cotton yarn.

l. What are the features of marketing of cotton in India?
* In some states, farmers sell their raw cotton in primary or local markets.
* Then comes the process of ginning in which seeds are separated from the lint.
* After separating seeds, cotton is tied into bales.
* Cotton bales, each of 170 kg are transported to terminal markets where these are sold to consuming mills
as raw material.
* In mills, the cotton is spun into yarn before its conversion into fabrics. The quality of yarn spun from the
cotton determines the price of cotton.
In some states, cotton is purchased from the farmers by govt agencies. The objectives of this scheme are:
· To ensure that the farmer gets legitimate price of his product.
· To procure good quality of cotton for mills.
· To supply unadulterated cotton to consumers at fixed price.
What are Cash crops?
Cash crops are those which are grown by the farmers on large scale to sell in the market. These provide raw material to the industry. E.g.: Sugarcane, cotton, jute, tea