During 2018-19, the SIMA Cotton Development & Research Association (SIMA CD&RA) had an opening stock of 32.66 quintals (q) of raw, unginned cotton (kapas), and procured 943.39 q of kapas, 318.58 q of lint and 612.71 q of seeds, according to Chairman R Elango, who said the association distributed 372.95 q of cotton seed, 11 per cent higher than previous fiscal’s figures.

The Surabhi and Suraj variety of cotton seeds accounted for about 85 per cent of total seeds distribution, he told the association’s 44th annual general meeting recently in Coimbatore. SIMA stands for Southern India Mills’ Association. The association has been successful in getting the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) tenders floated during May-June 2019 for supplying around 225 tonne of extra-long staple (ELS) cotton seeds to Tamil Nadu during the current season.

The association in 2018-19 produced 50.8 tonnes of foundation seeds and 1.7 tonnes of certified seeds and received a grant of Rs. 29.20 lakhs from the Tamil Nadu department of agriculture, marginally higher than previous year’s receipt of Rs. 27.04 lakhs. It distributed 227 kapas pluckers during the year and had 2,156 pluckers in stock at the end of the year. CCI was the major purchaser, buying 213 pluckers.

Four medium staple varieties, five long staple varieties, five extra-long staple varieties and an extra-long staple hybrid developed by the association were approved for distribution by the Director of seed certification and organic certification in Coimbatore, he said.

Further, five high yielding varieties are in various stages of trials and the association expects one of those, to be named ‘SIMA Platinum’, to pass the final agronomy trial and get approved for pre-release in the current season, he added.