Cotton loses sheen as prices plunge - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Cotton loses sheen as prices plunge

Cotton loses sheen as prices plunge

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11

This year, cotton has lost its ‘white gold’ tag as the prices have fallen by Rs 500 to Rs 1000 per quintal across the Malwa region.

Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, secretary of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), rued that the cotton growers were being deprived of their rightful due in this fight between the CCI and commission agents. “Some cotton growers have got just Rs 4,400 per quintal from private traders/ ginners. They have no option but to sell their produce to private traders, at whatever rate they determine,” he said.

CCI officials, on the condition of anonymity, said the most important reason for them not being able to make the purchase was the “non-cooperation” by the “politically connected” commission agents. “Since we make the purchase directly, arhtiyas have refused to allow our entry to mandis. We are also crediting the dues to bank accounts of farmers directly. The CCI has set up open market yards at some ginning mills, besides setting up our purchase centres. Even at our centres, arhtiyas keep an eye. This year, the moisture content in cotton is much higher than the procurement specifications (8-12 per cent). So far, most of the cotton is coming with moisture content of 16-20 per cent,” said a senior CCI official.

No wonder that against the average 2,000 quintals of cotton being purchased by private parties in each mandis daily, the total purchase by the CCI so far is just 2,200 quintal, procured at their own centres set up at Killianwali, Bhucho and Abohar.

While 360 quintal was purchased by the CCI yesterday, 700 quintal was procured in Abohar and 140 quintal at Killianwali today. It is after four years that the CCI has entered the market and procured cotton, because in the past four years, cotton continued to be bought by private traders at par with or more with the MSP. Commission agents, however, rebuffed the charges of interference with the CCI. They said farmers themselves do not want to sell their produce to the CCI as it reduced price by one per cent with every one per cent rise in moisture content, over and above the 8-12 per cent bracket.

Rajnish Jain, a commission agent in Maur, said “The CCI pays less in case of high moisture content. We fetch farmers higher rate from ginners and private traders, in spite of high moisture”.

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