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Vardhman Cottoning On

Vardhman Cottoning On

Punjab's Malwa belt shows how private industry has succeeded where government agencies failed

The cotton crop revival in Punjab's Malwa belt shows how private industry has succeeded where government agencies have failed miserably. Hit by a steep fall in production when the boll worm disease affected the cotton crop, Vardhman Spinning set up a Village Cluster Adoption Programme in 2003. Farmers were advised on sound farming practices by especially-employed staff trained at the Punjab Agricultural University. So, against the state average of 598 kg/hectare, Vardhman's 100 adopted villages have reported a bumper crop of 823 kg/hectare. A clutch of firms and four psu banks have formed a consortium that contributes Rs 60 lakh annually for the programme. "Our initiative has prevented mills in Punjab from shutting down," says S.P. Oswal, CMD, Vardhman Group.

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