Staff Reporter

50 new spinning and ginning mills to come up by next year

Price of Bt. cotton seed will be brought down, says MinisterFarmers told to aim at production of 3,50,000 bales of cotton Yield per hectare is only 300 kg, which is below international standardsGovernment urged to support textile industry by offering incentives

GUNTUR: Guntur district is poised to become a hub of the textile industry and the State Government is encouraging setting up of new industries, said Minister for Labour, Textile and Handlooms G. Vinod.

Inaugurating the two-day seminar on `Textile industry-trends and opportunities' conducted by the district administration here on Monday, he said that 50 new spinning and ginning mills would come up in the district by next year, which would provide employment opportunities for many people and greatly aid in the industrial development of the region.

The Minister said he would do his best to bring down the price of Bt. cotton seed to at least Rs. 800 per bag so that farmers do not go for cheap and spurious ones. He later talked about stress management, which was necessary for every individual, including entrepreneurs, to give their best.

Collective effort

Self-commitment, coordination and collective effort were the crucial factors for the success of the entrepreneurs. He called them to aim at production of 3,50,000 bales of cotton from the region. The current production of 2,40,000 bales was an encouraging factor, he added.

Andhra Pradesh Cotton Millers Association vice-president Punnaiah Chowdary said with 50 mills existing and another 50 coming up soon, Guntur would become a hub. But it needed attention on the rate of spindling, which was only 35 million spindles in our country despite having the highest acreage of cotton cultivation compared to China's 120 million spindles.

Even in terms of yield per hectare, it was only 300 kg, which was low compared to international standards. "The need is to improve the yield using the latest Bt cotton seed," he said. In terms of processing industries, our country was backward and he wanted the Government to support setting up the industry by offering incentives as given to other sectors like IT.

Dramatic changes

State Bank of India Vijayawada region Assistant General Manager K.S. Subramanyam said Guntur was trying to catch up with what was ignored or lost earlier. With the abolition of the quota system, dramatic changes were witnessed in the export sector, he said.

Delegates from across the district and its surrounding participated in the programme sponsored by the SBI. Experts from the industry from various places like Mumbai, Chennai and Coimbatore were brought in as resource persons. Guntur MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, District Collector G.Jayalakshmi, MLAs and other officials were present.