Pune: Cotton procurement through Minimum Support Price (MSP) operations continued at 34 centres in Maharashtra and a total 36,500 quintals of cotton equivalent to 6,900 bales procured during the coronavirus lockdown period, said the press release issued by the Ministry of Textiles.
It mentioned that MSP procurement is taking place in Maharashtra since October 2019. As on March 25, 2020, Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) had already procured 91.90 lakh quintals of cotton equivalent to 18.66 lakh bales of cotton valuing Rs.4995 crores from cotton farmers in Maharashtra through 83 centres.
Till March 25 around 77.40 per cent of total cotton produced in Maharashtra had arrived in the markets and sold to CCI and private traders. At the time of lockdown, around 22.60 per cent of the cotton was yet to arrive. Out of this outstanding cottons, it is estimated that approximately 40 to 50 per cent of cotton valuing approx. Rs. 2100 crore may be of Fair Average Quality (FAQ) grade, and growers may wish to avail MSP rates as the traders are not offering better price given the pandemic situation.
The MSP operations are continuing, and CCI’s procurement is going on at 34 centres currently. A total of 36,500 quintals of cotton equivalent to 6900 bales have been procured in Maharashtra during the lockdown period.
The procurement is regulated by the state APMCs and 27 centres are coming under red zones as identified by the District administration wherein procurement is expected to pick up after May 3. 2020. In remaining 22 centres, the State Government has been approached by the CCI for the issue of passes/tokens to farmers to bring cotton, and the Ministry of Textiles is constantly monitoring the matter through daily status reports on the arrival of farmers and cotton procurement in the APMCs. The Textiles Ministry has also issued an advisory to the Government of Maharashtra to make appropriate arrangements in APMCs for facilitating access to the cotton farmers to avoid distress selling.
The CCI has taken measures to clear the outstanding payment to the farmers for the procured cotton. Out of total procurement value of Rs.4995 crores, a sum of Rs.4987 crores has already reached the farmers.