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    Govt’s cotton purchase saving grace for farmers

  • Date : 02 January, 2021
    Once again government intervention has helped farmers in Vidarbha. The procurement by Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) at minimum support price (MSP) in 2020 was three times as compared to the same period in the previous year. There are signs of cotton prices improving, said sources in market.
    This comes at a time when protesting farmers from Punjab are apprehensive that the regime which follows the new agriculture laws may finish the MSP system. The government has assured that the MSP will remain.
    CCI is the agency that buys cotton at MSP if the rates fall below the level.
    The CCI procurement comes as a saviour for cultivator in Vidarbha where cotton is the main crop, say farmers as well as private traders. Farmers here are left with substantial losses due to damage to the soyabean crop. This had left them cash-starved and rushing to the CCI centres to sell at MSP. The MSP is at Rs5,800 for the best grade of cotton.
    CCI chairman Pradeep Kumar Agrawal told TOI that this year he procurement so far has been at 75 lakh bales which is thrice that of the same period last year. The numbers are a are almost the same for Maharashtra too.
    “Nearly 45% of f the cotton arrivals in the country has been purchased by the CCI so far,” he said.
    In Maharashtra, total cotton output is expected to be 80 lakh bales. “As against this, 35 lakh bales have reached the market and CCI has purchased 15 Lakh bales,” the CCI chairman said.
    Agrawal said CCI is ready to stay in the market till September. However, prices have already begun improving and soon the farmers may start selling the produce to private traders.
    “The CCI procurement figures are so far higher than the same period last year. HoHowever, the end of the season figures need to be compared instead to get the right view,” said Sunil Kothari, director of an agriculture produce marketing committee (PMC) at Hinganghat in Wardha district. “However, there are also signs of the rates improving slightly,” he said.
    Veteran farm activist Vijay Jawandhia said there is little chance the rates may improve unless there is a movement in the international rates. “The price of lint in the international market needs to go beyond one dollar a pound so that raw cotton fetches a better price in India. It is 83 cents at present. Or else the price of cotton seeds should go beyond Rs3,000 a quintal in the domestic market from Rs2,300,” he said.
    Source: Times Of India


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