Minimum support price hike fails to cheer cotton farmers
In the face of strong headwinds in the global market, the price of cotton seems to be wilting under immense pressure, this despite a quantum leap in the minimum support price MSP of cotton long staple to Rs 5,450 per quintal from 4,320 per quintal
Warangal: In the face of strong headwinds in the global market, the price of cotton seems to be wilting under immense pressure, this despite a quantum leap in the minimum support price (MSP) of cotton (long staple) to Rs 5,450 per quintal from 4,320 per quintal.
The adverse weather conditions have also played a spoilsport in bringing price of cotton down across erstwhile Warangal district. Farmers appeared jubilant when the Central Government had announced MSP increase of 26-28 per cent for the cotton over last year.
When the arrivals had begun in October (2018), the initial prices hovered above MSP Rs 5,450 per quintal, depending on the moisture content. But as the season progressed, the price started to plummet with the traders purchasing cotton anywhere between Rs 4,500 and Rs 5,000 per quintal.
It’s alleged that procurement centres of the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), a Government of India agency, engaged in diverse activities related to trade, procurement, and export of cotton, has also maintained the same price, citing higher moisture content.
According to trade reports, Warangal Enumamula Market Yard had witnessed cotton purchases to the tune of 5.50 lakh quintals. Of which the traders accounted for 95 per cent and the rest by CCI, sources said.
Speaking to The Hans India, Telangana Cotton Association president Bommineni Ravinder Reddy said: “For the last three months, there has been a massive slide in demand for cotton. Export of bales and yarn fell drastically.
China is not buying cotton as much as it were earlier. The devaluation of Chinese currency, Yuan, also has its impact on world fiber markets.” It may be mentioned here that China, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Vietnam are the main importers of Indian cotton.
On the other hand, the adverse weather conditions have its impact on the yield of fibre crop. According to agriculture department, farmers took up cultivation of cotton in 2.20 lakh hectares in the erstwhile Warangal district. Due to indifferent rainfall and pink bollworm at critical stages of cropping, the yield has come down significantly.
Rythu Sangham State joint secretary Peddarapu Ramesh said: “Even though there is an impact caused by the global market, the local traders who formed a cartel are robbing the farmers. The CCI should play an active role in protecting the interests of the farmers.”
Kodem Ramesh, a tenant farmer of Adavi Rangapuram under Duggondi mandal in Rural Warangal district, said that despite an increase in MSP, what I got is a pittance. The factors that affected the farmers are insufficient rainfall, pink bollworm attack on crop and finally traders.
Amid all problems, farmers have a respite in the form of the cotton seed which is hovering above Rs 2,100 per quintal. The cotton seeds are used for extracting oil and cattle feed called as de-oiled-cake (DOC).