The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has resumed procurement of the commodity and it has bought around 25,000 quintal of cotton from farmers in the last 10 days, top officials of the corporation said.
CCI chairperson and managing director P Alli Rani said that the quantum of procurement has not been much due to the lockdown period and fear of coronavirus infection among farmers. She said that with 80% of arrivals already in the market, the corporation is buying cotton in a controlled way, and maintaining social distancing. Procurement is taking place but at a very small scale, she said. The cotton season usually lasts till September 30.
She said that the corporation has asked district officials to issue passes on an hourly basis, wherein 5-6 farmers who want to sell and do not have transportation problem can come to the centre. CCI is the government’s nodal agency for purchases under the minimum support price scheme.
Buying has slowed down after March as the peak harvest season is almost over, she said, adding that the third or fourth pickings normally do not yield much. Till date CCI has procured 85 lakh bales.
Most of the cotton in the 2019-20 season has been purchased from Telangana where CCI purchased 82% of the 92% of arrivals in the market, Alli Rani said. In Maharashtra, however, the agency has purchased just 30% of the 82% arrivals in the market, she added. Of the remaining arrivals that is expected to come to the market, around 50% may come to CCI, she said.
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.