The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) procured a record 92 lakh bales from cotton growing regions across the country on Wednesday, according to top of the corporation. P Alli Rani, CMD, CCI said that this is a global record of procurement by any single agency. The total procurement by CCI is valued at around Rs 25,000 crore. CCI had purchased a record 90 lakh bales in the year 2008, which was again a national record, she said.
Of the total crop of 360 lakh bales, around 297-300 lakh bales have arrived in the market so far. Farmers have another 60 lakh bales remaining with them of which 25 lakh bales are likely to arrive in the market, Alli Rani said. Of this, CCI is likely to procure around 10 lakh bales. Currently, CCI is procuring some 45000 bales a day.
The cotton procured so far has been purchased from farmers in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Telangana and Punjab. The season in Tamil Nadu has just begun and will continue till September 30.
The minimum support price for the medium-staple variety of cotton is Rs 5,255 per quintal and that for the long staple one is Rs 5,550 per quintal this year. The Cotton Association of India has pegged 2019-20 crop at 354.5 lakh bales, compared with 312 lakh bales last year.
In Maharashtra, CCI is procuring about 15,000 bales a day, Alli Rani said. However, the state government has now threatened action against cotton ginners for keeping their units shut and not cooperating with the state cotton federation and the corporation. CCI had suspended cotton procurement during the lockdown and restarted operations from May 3. Farm activist Kishore Tiwari had then sought action against ginners and pressers for not reopening their units during this period.
Ginners in the state were reluctant to start their units due to paucity of labour and the fear of contracting coronavirus. Tiwari said that some licences of units in Yavatmal had been scrapped and other units were now opening. Pradeep Jain, president, Khandesh Gin/Press Owners and Traders Development Association said that at least 70-80% of the units had begun operations.
The Maharashtra State Co-op Cotton Growers Marketing Federation has set May 31 as deadline to wind up the ongoing procurement, which was restarted from May 3 due to the onset of monsoon. Meanwhile, president of Shetkari Sanghatana Anil Dhanwat said farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada would protest against state’s insensitivity towards the issues of cotton growers. The farmers would burn cotton in front of their houses as a symbolic protest on May 22, demanding compensation to those who sold their produce to private traders below MSP.