CCI to enter Punjab to procure cotton after four years

The Cotton Corporation of India Limited (CCI) has started preparations to enter Punjab after four years to procure cotton. It expects the quality of raw cotton to be reasonably good to make procurement at the minimum support price (MSP). Weak global demand and higher support price in India has made ginners and textile sector reluctant to buy cotton this season.

The Indian Government had announced the MSP for long staple (27.5-28.5mm) cotton, commonly grown in Punjab, at Rs 5,450 per quintal for 2019-20 (September 1-August 31).

After facing inclement weather in July, cotton crop is progressing well and growers feel if no more rains lash the region in the coming days, the crop is expected to remain good and they may get a yield of nearly 770 kg of lint per hectare, according to a report in a top English-language daily.

Raw cotton arrivals have been reported in small quantities in some wholesale markets recently and have fetched rates above the MSP. Market analysts said these were expected to come down when arrivals go up in the next few weeks.

Area under cotton in Punjab in the 2019-20 crop year is estimated to be around 4 lakh hectares, up from the provisional figures of 2.84 lakh hectares in the last season.

According to the Punjab agriculture department data, the estimated output of raw cotton in 2018-19 was 12.22 lakh bales while the CCI had put the figures at 11.50 lakh bales.

The CCI is ready to enter the market to procure cotton directly from farmers without any middlemen. The central agency had last done the procurement in the state in 2014-15.

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