In Malwa, cotton selling below MSP

In Malwa, cotton selling below MSP

Farmers with their produce at a market in Bathinda. Pawan Sharma

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 28

Cotton is being sold below the MSP in the Malwa region as the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) is yet to start its procurement. The MSP for cotton is between Rs 5,515 and Rs 5,725 per quintal, but is being sold as low as Rs 4,600 per quintal. However, traders have cited excess moisture content in the fibre crop as the reason for paying less.

Jagmeet Singh, Mansa farmer

CCI yet to start procurement, farmers suffer

Since CCI hasn’t started the procurement, I sold six quintals of good quality crop at a rate of Rs 4,960 per quintal, which is way below the MSP.

Many farmers are averse to selling their produce to the CCI due to the government agency’s condition of direct purchase. They said they could not break ties with arhtiyas even if they had to sell their produce at a lesser price.

Randhir Singh of Jodhpur Romana village in Bathinda said, “We have been dealing with arhtiyas for years now and we cannot think of snapping our ties with them. They are the ones who hold our hand in the hour of crisis. They do not think twice before handing over advance payments to us whenever we need it.”

Jagmeet Singh, a farmer from Tibbi Hari Singh village in Mansa district, said, “I had sold six quintals of crops at a rate of Rs 4,960 per quintal, which is way below the MSP. The quality was rich, but with the CCI yet to start procurement, I had no option but to sell it at a lower price.”

“If we do not sell the crop at a lower price to private purchasers, who will finance us for the next sowing season?” asked Gurmeet Singh, another farmer. Market analysts said rates would

stabilise once the CCI started procurement and moisture content in the crop fell within permissible limits of 8-12 per cent.

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