Minister urges CCI to lift procurement restrictions till Jan.-end

The State government has requested the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to lift the restrictions imposed on the cotton procurement operations till January-end, keeping in view the interests of the farming community as also to avoid distress sale of the fibre crop by farmers.

In a letter addressed to the Chairman and Managing Director of CCI on Tuesday, Minister for Agriculture Singireddy Niranjan Reddy stated that restrictions were imposed to purchase only 15,000 bales each every day in the Warangal and Mahabubnagar regions and only 10,000 bales in Adilabad region. Stating that the current period was key when third picking of the crop was in progress, he requested the CCI to lift the restrictions imposed.

He assured that the State government would divert the farmers to nearby procurement centres in case the storage capacity of a procurement centre was nearing exhaustion or already exhausted to continue the procurement operations at minimum support price. The CCI step would cause concern among the farming community on the disposal of their produce and they would be forced to resort to distress sale to traders, he explained.

The Minister said cotton was cultivated extensively in 60.36 lakh acres during the kharif season in the State and the production was estimated to be about 54.81 lakh tonnes. He stated that the CCI had procured 12.12 lakh tonnes till December 26 at an average of 60,000 bales every day. A total of 300 ginning mills were notified as procurement centres in 29 districts for the procurement operations of CCI.

He also stated that the Director of Agricultural Marketing had already written to the CMD-CCI with a request not to impose any quantity restrictions on purchase till February 1, next to extend the support price to farmers. Since the peak arrivals would be in the month of January the restrictions imposed would harm the interests of farmers and to avoid unrest among them, he noted.

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