Special Correspondent

Four-member committee to come out with suggestions in one week

  • Aim is to prevent distress sale in different parts of the State
  • Meeting stressed need for creating market linkages

    BHUBANESWAR: In order to prevent distress sale of cotton in different parts of the State, the Government on Thursday decided to explore ways for reviving the Orissa Cotton Growers' Co-operative Federation (Cotfed) and initiate measures to solve problems facing the growers.

    At a high-level meeting that was chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the authorities decided to form a four-member committee headed by Agriculture Production Commissioner R.N. Bohidar. The committee, which will have Secretaries of the Departments of Finance, Cooperation and Agriculture as members, would submit a report in one week, giving suggestions about revival of Cotfed and remedial measures that were required to help cotton farmers overcome their problems.

    Growing frustration

    Cotfed, which was set up in 1993, had been in the red for the past several years with little funds available with it to procure cotton from farmers.

    Taking note of the growing frustration among cotton farmers in the interior districts, the Ministers and officials attending the meeting stressed the need for creating market linkages for the sale of cotton grown in the State.

    A large number of cotton farmers of Muniguda block in Rayagada district on Wednesday issued a threat to commit suicide if the authorities did not take steps to stop distress sale. Cotton was being cultivated in more than 15,000 hectares in Rayagada.

    A proposal submitted by Cotfed was discussed at the meeting, where the officials underlined the need for taking concrete steps for creating favourable situation for cotton growers.

    Among others who attended were Agriculture Minister Surendra Nath Nayak and Cooperation Minister Surama Padhi. The meeting also decided that the Cotton Corporation of India would be approached to procure more cotton from the State through different agencies.