Tribune News Service
Faridkot, March 30
Fearing a crash in cotton prices in the coming days following the coronavirus outbreak, the district administration on Monday gave relaxation in the curfew to the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) for purchasing cotton from farmers.
“Farmers were apprehensive of suffering losses due to the declining prices of their produce in the domestic market. So, relaxations in curfew were given to the CCI. However, the CCI and farmers have to follow social distancing to contain the spread of Covid-19. We had received a request for relaxation in the curfew from the CCI as farmers have a huge stock of cotton to sell,” said DC Kumar Saurabh Raj.
Against the estimated production of 68 lakh bales in Punjab, Haryana and lower Rajasthan areas during the 2018-2019 season, it is believed that farmers are still holding a stock of 7-8 lakh raw (unginned) cotton, expecting a hike in the price.
The CCI had commenced procurement of cotton in Punjab and Rajasthan in October 2019 at the MSP of Rs5,450. As farmers are worried about a decline in prices below the MSP due to the Covid outbreak, they want CCI to start purchasing their produce.
The prices of raw cotton or narma are currently between Rs4,700 and Rs5,250 per quintal, depending on the quality and the moisture content. However, the prevailing prices are much below the MSP of Rs5,450 per quintal announced by the CCI.
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