Chandigarh: Cotton farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan have sold over 3.85 lakh bales at minimum support prices directly to the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) in the kharif season, as the government’s move to cut out the middlemen is helping cultivators of the natural fibre take advantage of what promises to be a bumper harvest this year.
In India, the new cotton season officially starts in October, when harvest picks up in the Northern states. The three states are expected to harvest around 64-66 lakh bales (a bale equals 170 kg of lint) of cotton this season. The MSP for 27.5-28.5 mm long staple cotton, widely grown in the North, has been fixed at Rs 5,450 per quintal, but market prices were subdued in line with global prices at the beginning of the season. Much of the cotton purchased by the CCI in previous years came through middlemen or aggregators in the three states. A higher output season usually saw distress selling by farmers below the MSP. However, direct procurement has ensured that farmers get MSP rates and are not fleeced by middlemen. “The response is quite encouraging, especially since payments are being made within three days.
The government’s announcement of higher minimum support prices is also making farmers sell to CCI,” said Pradeep Kumar Aggarwal, head-director marketing, CCI.
Source: Economic Times