Cotton Corporation gears up to expand operations in Maharashtra
With monopoly scheme gradually being diluted, the Cotton
Corporation of India (CCI) has formulated a long-term strategy to actively participate
in Maharashtras cotton economy. Arbind Gupta reports.
Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has decided to expand
its operations in Maharashtra in order to enhance its participation in the states
cotton economy. According to officials, the corporation will increase its purchase
centres in the state from the existing 45 centres to 70 centres during the new
cotton season (2003-04).
This move of the corporation has come in the wake of
the state governments changing approach towards the monopoly procurement
scheme which is gradually losing its relevance in the changed trade order. It
is to be noted that in the last couple of years, the state government has gone
on to dilute the monopoly scheme by allowing ginners, textile mills and CCI
to procure cotton from farmers in the state.
Talking to Express Textile, Mr Vishwa Nath, chairman
and managing director, CCI, said, With the monopoly scheme being diluted
gradually, we have now decided to play a much bigger role in the states
cotton economy. Maharashtra being one of the largest cotton growing states in
the country assumes significance for the corporation which has been enhancing
its scope in the liberal market place. In future, we will continue to explore
opportunities to create a stronger domestic cotton base.
The larger operational network will enable CCI to purchase
a much higher volume of cotton from state farmers. According to sources, the
corporation is expected to purchase more than 7-8 lakh bales of cotton in the
new season as against around 1.75 lakh bales purchased during the current season.
Trade sources have estimated a much higher crop of around 45 lakh bales for
the new season as against around 31 lakh bales of production (actual) for the
The crop has so far progressed very satisfactorily
and in the given condition, we can easily estimate a production of not less
than 40 lakh bales. But we have to see how the crop shapes up during September
which is very crucial in terms of pest attacks and other climatic vagaries,
said a Mumbai-based trader. The conditions at present are so favourable that
if nothing goes wrong, the state is likely to see huge improvement in yield
which in the current season was as low as 160-170 kg per hectare as against
national average of 309 kg per hectares, added the trader.
Meanwhile, CCI has also taken up, in a very big way,
integrated cotton farming in Maharashtra apart from Haryana and Andhra Pradesh,
in the new cotton season. Under the integrated farming, the corporation has
covered 3350 hectares of area in 37 villages of five districts in these three
states. The entire exercise will be carried out in association with Bayer Corp
Sciences, IFFCO, Haryana Agriculture university, CICR, Nagpur and PDJKV, Akola.
In Maharashtra, at Nagpur and Buldana, the cotton so produced will be procured
by ginning factories, while in other places, CCI will be the sole procuring
We have realised the importance of
integrated farming, even as the outcome in the current season was
not so encouraging due to abnormal weather conditions. But this
year, we are very optimistic about the results. Mills are still
not very forthcoming. However, once they see the favourable results,
there is no reason for them to wait and watch, stated the