Cotton farmers asked not to sell crop in haste

October 26th, 2008 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Oct 26 (IANS) The central government’s biggest achievement has been turning around the Indian textiles industry from sunset to sunrise sector, said Textiles Minister Shankersinh Vaghela here Sunday, and asked farmers not to offload their crop in a haste.Addressing a crowded press conference, Vaghela said the quality and production of cotton have improved equally radically. “I urge the farmers not to make hasty sale of their crop. The Cotton Corp of India (CCI) is there to buy your crop. Do not worry,” he said.

CCI has hiked the price to Rs.2,500 per 100 kg, which is Rs.500 more than the market price. Last year, CCI paid Rs.1,750 to Rs.1800, Vaghela said.

Production has risen mainly due to the launching of the technology mission on cotton and introduction of Bt cotton seeds, he said.

CCI is expected to procure about two million bales in the year ending September 2009 and it will protect cotton farmers by purchasing the fibre if the prices fall below the minimum support price (MSP).

Vaghela said the textiles sector has drawn a total investment of Rs.1,045 billion in the past four years, and it is expected to reach Rs.1,506 billion by 2012. Altogether 17.37 million jobs would be generated in the next four years, he added.

The minister admitted that the global meltdown has had an impact on Indian cotton exports.

Earlier, the problem was appreciation of the rupee which hit exports to the US and European markets. Now, despite a weak rupee, American and European buyers have begun cutting imports, cancelling orders and in some cases, even letters of intent (LCs), Vaghela said.

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