NEW DELHI: A government agency has purchased almost three million tonnes of cotton to ensure farmers get adequate returns at a time when domestic and global prices are down due to a high production.
"The Cotton Corporation of India has up to Dec 15 purchased 2.82 million quintals of cotton at the minimum support price," Minister of State for Agriculture Kanti Lal Bhuria said in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
The Cotton Corporation of India is the government's nodal agency to procure cotton from farmers at the minimum support price (MSP) fixed annually.
"In view of the fall in price of kapas below the MSP level, the corporation has commenced its operation in all the major cotton growing states (except Maharashtra) namely, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka," the minister said.
In Maharashtra, the State Cooperative Cotton Growers' Marketing Federation has commenced its procurement operations under the state monopoly procurement scheme at guaranteed prices.
As per the first advance estimates received by the agriculture ministry, cotton production during 2004-05 is estimated to be 13.85 million bales of 170 kg each.
The large-scale plantation of genetically modified cotton this year has played a big role in helping India achieve a bumper crop, the agriculture ministry sources said.
Source: Indo-Asian News Service.