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Cotton Cultivation Cost Per Acre in India: Exploring State-wise Average Production Cost

“Cotton Cultivation Cost Per Acre in India: A State-by-State Analysis” provides a detailed look at the average expenses involved in growing cotton across India’s diverse regions, offering insights into the varying economic landscapes shaping this crucial agricultural sector.

Cotton Cultivation Cost

Cotton Cultivation Cost Per Acre in India

Overview of Cotton Cultivation in India

India is the world’s largest producer of cotton, accounting for 36% of the global cotton cultivation area. The country grows all four species of cultivated cotton, including Asian, Egyptian, and American Upland varieties. Cotton cultivation is primarily concentrated in the Deccan Plateau, where it thrives in a warm and dry climate with moderate rainfall and irrigation. The crop matures in 6 to 8 months, depending on the variety and region. 

Major cotton-producing states include Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu. However, cotton cultivation faces challenges like pest infestation, low productivity, high input costs, inadequate marketing infrastructure, and price fluctuations. The government has implemented various initiatives to support the cotton sector, including subsidies, minimum support prices, crop insurance, research and development, quality control, and extension services, to improve cotton yield and competitiveness in the global market.

Land Preparation Costs

Land preparation involves plowing, leveling, and forming ridges and furrows in the field. The main objectives of land preparation are to create a suitable seedbed for germination and emergence of cotton plants, to improve soil aeration and drainage, to facilitate irrigation and fertilizer application, and to control weeds and pests. The cost of land preparation varies depending on the type of soil, the size of the field, the availability of labor and machinery, and the level of technology adopted.

According to some sources, the average cost of land preparation for cotton cultivation in India ranges from Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 2,000 per acre. This includes the price of plowing (Rs. 500 to Rs. 800 per acre), leveling (Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 per acre), and forming ridges and furrows (Rs. 500 to Rs. 900 per acre). Land preparation is an essential component of cotton cultivation that can influence the yield and quality of cotton fiber.

Cost of Seed and Planting Material

The cost of seed and planting material for irrigated cotton and rainfed cotton varies. Delinted seed is preferred due to its higher germination and lower disease incidence. It costs Rs 740 per 450 g and is recommended at a seed rate of 2.5-3 kg per hectare. Fungicides like Thiram or Bavistin are used to prevent seed-borne diseases, costing Rs 50 per kg. Extra seeds are used for gap filling, replacing dead or missing plants with healthy ones.

In case you missed it: Disease Management in Cotton Farming: Strategies for Control and Prevention

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Gap filling costs Rs 200 per hectare. The total cost of seed and planting material for irrigated cotton is Rs 2,230 to Rs 2,680 per hectare. For rainfed cotton, fuzzy seed is more common due to its higher drought tolerance. It costs Rs 500 per kg and is recommended at a seed rate of 10-12 kg per hectare. Fungicides are also used to prevent diseases. Gap filling costs Rs 300 per hectare. The total cost for seed and planting material for rainfed cotton is Rs 5,800 to Rs 6,900 per hectare.

Fertilizer and Nutrient Management Costs

Depending on the area, fertilizer and nutrient management expenses for cotton farming in India might vary significantly. Numerous variables, including the kind of soil, the temperature in the region, and the particular variety of cotton farmed, affect these costs. Fertilizers, including urea, DAP, MOP, and other complex fertilizers, are often used. Both local and international market movements cause annual variations in the cost of these fertilizers.

According to recent data, these expenses vary from INR 5,000 to INR 15,000 per acre. Additionally, the use of organic fertilizers is becoming more and more popular. Although initially more expensive, these fertilizers provide advantages for long-term sustainability. Effective fertilizer management is essential to ensure cotton production is sustainable and cost-effective.

Irrigation Costs for Cotton Cultivation

The average cost of irrigation per hectare for cotton was Rs. 5,091. This was about 9% of the total cost of cultivation, which was Rs. 56,240 per hectare. However, the cost of irrigation varied widely across different states, depending on the availability and source of water, the type of irrigation system used, and the frequency and duration of irrigation.

For instance, in Punjab, where canal irrigation is predominant, the cost of irrigation per hectare was Rs. 2,100, which was only 3% of the total cost of cultivation. On the other hand, in Maharashtra, where groundwater irrigation is common, the cost of irrigation per hectare was Rs. 12,600, which was 18% of the total cost of cultivation. Similarly, in Gujarat, where drip irrigation is widely adopted, the cost of irrigation per hectare was Rs. 7,800, which was 11% of the total cost of cultivation.

Costs Associated with Pest and Disease Management

Cotton is one of the most important crops in India. However, it is also susceptible to a number of diseases and pests that may lower its quality and output. Pest and disease management is, therefore, a crucial aspect of cotton cultivation, but it also involves significant costs for the farmers. According to some studies, the cost of plant protection for cotton in India ranges from Rs 1545/ha to Rs 3225/ha, depending on the type of practices adopted by the farmers.

Labor Costs

One of the major factors affecting the labor costs in cotton cultivation is the type of cotton grown. In India, there are two types of cotton: desi, or short-staple cotton, and American, or long-staple cotton. Desi cotton is more suited to dry and rainfed areas, while American cotton is more suited to irrigated and high-yielding areas. Desi cotton requires less labor and inputs than American cotton but also has lower yields and quality.

In case you missed it: Pest Management in Cotton Farming: Natural, Biological, and Chemical Control

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Another factor affecting the labor costs in cotton cultivation is the market situation. Labor costs in cotton cultivation in India are determined by various factors such as the type of cotton grown, the use of technology, and the market situation. The average labor cost for one acre of cultivation is Rs 20100.

Machinery and Equipment Costs

Cotton is one of the most important crops in India, accounting for about 25% of the world’s cotton production. However, cotton cultivation requires a lot of machinery and equipment, which can be a significant cost factor for farmers. Some of the main types of machinery and equipment used for cotton cultivation in India and their approximate costs.

Machinery/EquipmentCost Range [INR]
Tractor4 lakh – 10 lakh
Planter0.8 lakh – 2 lakh
Sprayer0.1 lakh – 0.5 lakh
Harvester10 lakh – 20 lakh

Post-Harvest Handling and Transportation Costs

Post-harvest handling of cotton involves several steps, such as picking, ginning, baling, grading, and storing. Each of these steps requires labor, machinery, electricity, water, and other inputs, which add to the cost of production. The average cost of post-harvest handling of cotton in India was Rs. 1,800 per quintal, which accounted for about 15% of the total cost of cultivation.

Transportation of cotton from the farm to the market or the mill is another major expense for cotton farmers. Transportation costs depend on various factors, such as distance, mode of transport, road conditions, fuel prices, taxes, and tolls. The average cost of transportation of cotton in India was Rs. 600 per quintal, which accounted for about 5% of the total cost of cultivation.

State-wise Cotton Cultivation Cost Per Acre

StateCost of Cultivation
(Rs. /Acre)
Madhya Pradesh26,000
Andhra Pradesh25,000
Tamil Nadu23,000

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Cotton Cultivation Cost

Are There Any Government Subsidies Available for Cotton Farmers In India?

Yes, various state and central government schemes offer subsidies and financial support.

How Do Climatic Conditions Impact the Cost of Cotton Cultivation In India?

Climate affects irrigation needs, pest control, and crop selection, all of which influence cultivation costs.


Cotton cultivation in India varies in cost across states. The average expenditure per acre depends on factors like labor, seeds, irrigation, and fertilizers. This blog explores these costs state-wise, offering a clear, data-driven perspective on cotton farming economics in India.


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