Indian is the abode of cotton, where cotton is extensively used as dress material. The remains of India`s past civilizations divulge that during those days India was a producer of cotton. During that time, people who 3were engaged in spinning and weaving cotton, used to spin yarn and knit cotton fabrics and export them to the Middle-East countries. Babylonians called cotton by the name `Sindhu` and Greeks had named it `Sindon`. Moreover, cotton is said to be one of the widely used and major natural fibres used by most of the textile industries of the world.
Though it is still in vague that when the use of cotton actually started but as per historical evidences, prior to 5000years has been dated as the commencement period of cultivation of cotton in India. Fragments of cotton cloth found in the archaeological site of Mohenjo Daro unveils that during that time cotton was used as a fabric for making cloths and also in Mesopotamia. It is said that Mesopotamia has inherited the tradition of using cotton in textile industry from India. Trade of cotton expanded in different countries and developed in India as well.
Cotton grows very well in drier parts of `black cotton soil` of the Deccan Plateau. Customarily, the central producers are Gujarat
. The other producers include Punjab
, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
and Madhya Pradesh
. In 1988-89 the production circumstances had altered significantly. There are almost fifty varieties of cotton plants among which Gossypium barbadense and Gossypium hirsutum are widely cultivated. Among these cottons, Gossypium hirsutum provides the largest part of the entire fibre production whereas Gossypium barbadense produces less fibre.
Punjab led the other states with 21 lakh bales, followed by Gujarat with 17.5 lakh bales, Maharashtra- 16.5 lakh bales, and Andhra Pradesh- 13.2 lakh bales. The others were Rajasthan
, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
In 1950-51 area under cotton was a little less than 6 million hectares. By 1997-98 the area escalated to almost 9 million hectares. Production also heightened from 3 million bales (170 kg) to over 11 million bales by 1997-98. The yield also arose from 88 kg per hectare to 213 kg of lint. India was the first to develop hybrid cotton variety, leading to elevated production.