With the purchase of one lakh quintal raw cotton from south Malwa districts after it resumed operations two weeks ago, the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has bought about 41% of the total cotton produced in 2019.
According to official data, about 44,000 quintal cotton has been procured from Fazilka and 41,000 quintal from Mansa district since April 14. The central agency is estimated to have bought cotton worth Rs 54 crore after it resumed procurement on April 14. Cotton purchase was suspended after curfew was imposed in Punjab on March 23 due to Covid-19 outbreak.
Officials say that despite the pandemic, CCI has successfully purchased 41% of total cotton sold in the south Malwa market this season. Procurement is still on at different districts and about four lakh quintal more is expected to be purchased in the coming weeks. “The CCI started procurement in October last year after private players were paying farmers less than the MSP. By March 21, when purchase had to be suspended, CCI had disbursed Rs 850 crore to cotton growers. For purchase from April 14 onwards, CCI has already paid Rs 25 crore to farmers and the process to clear dues of Rs 29 crore is on,” said a CCI official.
State cotton coordinator Rajnish Goel said that till March 21, 37.11 lakh quintal was purchased in Punjab and CCI had bought 14.40 lakh quintal cotton at the MSP (minimum support price). Rest of the produce of 22.50 lakh quintal was purchased by private players.