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Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003

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Tech mission on cotton starts assessment of ginning units

G. Gurumurthy


THE Technology Mission on Cotton (TMC), which funds modernisation of ginning and pressing units, has launched an impact assessment of ginning and pressing factories financially assisted by it.

The impact assessment is being carried out with the support of technical expert from Central Institute of Cotton Research/TRAs or from the office of the Textiles Committee under the guidance of the TMC cell.

TMC has evolved the system of rating of individual factories. The quality of machines installed, factory infrastructure - especially the civil structure of the factory building - that goes directly into improving the ginning quality, and the management style of the promoters form the crucial part of the study.

Based on these, the impact and grade ratings are assigned. According to TMC, 110 ginning and pressing factories have been studied so far.

Regarding impact rating, one ginning and pressing factory has been given `AAA' rating, while 69 units have obtained `AA' rating and 40 have been awarded `A' rating.

On grade ratings, one ginning and pressing unit has been given `AAA' rating, 46 have obtained `AA' rating while 11 have been awarded `B' rating.

While the impact rating is generally very good, reflecting the quality of machinery and infrastructure expected by TMC guidelines, the grade rating is one step lower in case of some factories.

The lower grade ratings highlight inadequacies in the management methods practised.

The TMC cell makes suggestions for improvement, which if implemented will help them secure higher grades in future assessments.

The TMC advisor, Mr M.B. Lal, who made available the mission's study on ginneries to Business Line, said that it would be interesting to make an assessment based on the ginners' perspective.

The cell usually seeks the opinion of the owners of ginning factories modernised through TMC to know how far the modernisation has been beneficial to them.

Owners fall into two main categories - those carrying out their own business in cotton trading and those doing only job work, with some doing both.

Those doing job work, according to Mr Lal, are an indifferent lot because they are not the direct beneficiaries of cotton quality upgradation.

On the other hand, ginners trading in cotton seem to be satisfied, as they have benefited immensely.

Many have managed to earn premium for clean cotton ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000 per candy received by them, particularly from export-oriented mills.

All of them are satisfied that they have been compensated fully for the investment made.

In the case of another section, although no premiums are offered by mills, they are satisfied with the fact that modernisation has elevated their reputation as suppliers of good quality cotton with trash content as low as 1-2 per cent.

TMC proposes to cover about 500 units over a period ending 2007-08.

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