Cotton purchase starts across Malwa mandis - ECAS Punjab

Cotton purchase starts across Malwa mandis

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Sameer Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 20

Cotton has started hitting "mandis" in the Malwa region with farmers from different villages beginning to bring their produce for procurement.

As per mandi board records, more than 1,000 quintal cotton has been procured in the past one week in Bathinda and Mansa districts. Procurement will be done at seven Bathinda mandis and six in Mansa this season.

I have sold two quintals at the rate of Rs4,635 per quintal, which is way below the MSP of Rs5,725. - Karam Singh, Farmer

Bring produce after Oct 1

Farmers should bring their produce to mandis after October 1 when the Cotton Corporation of India begins procurement.- Rajnish Goel, District Mandi Officer, Mansa

Farmers, however, rue they have not been getting remunerative prices for their yield since the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), the government nodal agency, has not started procurement yet.

As a result, most of them are being coerced to sell cotton to private procurement agencies at rates below the minimum support price (MSP).

Against the MSP of Rs 5,725 this year, a majority of the farmers has sold it at Rs 4,600 per quintal or even below.

A farmer from Mansa district claims he was forced to sell cotton for as low as Rs 3,800 per quintal after a private agency cited low quality and high moisture content in the produce.

Karam Singh, a farmer from Bir Behman village in Bathinda, says: "I have sold two quintals at the rate of Rs 4,635 per quintal, which is way below the MSP. The quality was rich but with the CCI yet to start procurement, I was forced to sell it at a lower price."

Dara Singh, Superintendent, Mandi Board, Bathinda, says: "The procurement is in its nascent stage. Farmers are bringing in cotton that is not fully bloomed yet and the quality is not that good enough to fetch higher prices."

Rajnish Goel, District Mandi Officer, Mansa, says: "Farmers must ensure the cotton is dry and the moisture content is within the 8 to 12 per cent range so that they can get remunerative prices for their produce."



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