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Procurement of cotton under MSP operations increasing in Odisha: Union minister

2021-12-11 15:36:23
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Procurement of cotton under MSP operations increasing in Odisha: Union minister

Procurement of cotton under minimum support price (MSP) operations has been increased in Odisha. In 2018-19, only six percent of cotton were procured under the MSP operations, but it is 41 percent in 2020-21. Union minister of state for textiles Darshana Jardosh told Rajya Sabha about this on Friday.

MSP operation of cotton is a sovereign function of the Centre to safeguard the cotton farmers from any eventuality of distress sales. To ensure the benefit of MSP to large section of cotton farmers, the Cotton Corporation of India Ltd (CCI) is appointed as a nodal agency under the ministry of textiles for undertaking MSP operations of cotton directly from the cotton farmers duly identified by the state government officials without involving any middlemen.

Cotton is being procured between October and June. The state was producing four lakh cotton bales (one bale is 170kg of cotton) in 2018-19, but only 0.25 lakh cotton bales were procured under MSP operations in that year by spending Rs 70.78 crore. It was six percent of the total production.

In 2019-20, around 1.61 lakh bales were procured under MSP operations against the production of four lakh cotton bales. Percentage of the procurement was 40 percent with value of Rs 435.4 crore. In 2020-2021, 2.05 lakh bales (41 percent) of Rs 621.8 crore have been procured against the production of 4.99 lakh bales, official sources said.

Only 5000 farmers were getting MSPs in 2018-19, but this number has been increased to 40,000 in 2020-21, said the minister. She said CCI officials remain present at procurement centres right from the beginning of the cotton season till end to ensure minimum support prices to the cotton farmers wherever prevailing prices of fair average quality (FAQ) grade kapas fall below MSP.

Government sources said cotton is cultivated in the districts of Kalahandi, Balangir, Rayagada, Nuapada, Sonepur, Bargarh, Gajapati, Ganjam, Koraput, Boudh and Kandhamal. It was cultivated at an area of 1.69 lakh hectare in 2019-20 in 11 districts. It has been increased to 1.71 lakh hectare in the financial year of 2020-21. CCI has a branch office in Rayagada along with 14 procurement centres in nine districts.

In February this year, cotton bales from Odisha were exported to Bangladesh via railway for the first time. As many as 2471.5 MT (metric tonne) of cotton bales procured by the CCI from Odisha farmers were transported from Junagarh station in Kalahandi district to Benapole station in Bangladesh.

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