ANDHRA PRADESH

Government agencies set to reap bonanza from cotton purchases

Cotton in heaps at a ginning mill in Adilabad. —PHOTO: BY ARRANGEMENT  

Even as cotton farmers are crying hoarse over losses suffered due to non-remunerative prices and damage to the crop because of untimely rains in the State, government agencies like the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and the National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) are all set to laugh their way to the banks, thanks to the current upward trend in cotton prices in the open market.

Prices

According to market observers in the district, the rate of a cotton bale candy has gone up by about Rs. 1,500 per unit during the last week and is expected to go up further. A candy is now priced at approximately Rs. 36,500 owing to the growing demand in spinning mills across the country.

The price of cotton has seen a jump of about Rs. 200 per quintal in the open market in Adilabad against the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs. 3,900 per quintal. Elsewhere, like in Maharashtra, the price is Rs. 4,300 per quintal owing to better quality of the produce that arrives in those markets.

Distress sale

While cotton farmers in Adilabad have resorted to distress sale of their produce, often below the MSP, leaving no stocks with them now, only the CCI and the NAFED have sufficient stocks when the demand for cotton bales has risen according to market observers.

The CCI has turned out to be the biggest purchaser of cotton in Adilabad and elsewhere in its MSP operations. Of the 56 lakh quintals that has been traded in the markets in this district, the CCI has purchased as much as 26 lakh quintals while the NAFED has bought about six lakh quintals.

The government agencies continue to purchase the produce though arrivals have almost dried up.

In the present scenario, the CCI will have a stock of over 5 lakh bales while the NAFED is good with over one lakh bales.