Agri Business

‘Cotton Corp to procure 125 lakh bales’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 07, 2020

Centre says it has spent over ₹1.90 lakh cr in 2019-20 to procure rice, wheat on MSP

The government, reeling under intense farmer protest,s particularly in Punjab and Haryana, has announced enhanced procurement targets for rice and cotton during the current kharif marketing season and stated that it has spent over ₹1.90 lakh crore in 2019-20 for procuring rice and wheat on MSP.

Announcing cotton procurement targets for the season, for the first time, Textile Secretary Ravi Capoor said the state-owned Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) would procure 125 lakh bales (one bale is 170 kg) of cotton, which is 20 lakh bales more than the 105 lakh bales procured in the previous season.

Capoor, who briefed the media along with Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal, Food and Public Distribution Secretary Sudhanshu Panday and Food Corporation of India (FCI) CMD, DV Prasad, assured the farmers that the CCI would be willing to procure any amount of quality cotton that farmers bring.


Procurement assurance

Similarly, FCI chief Prasad said rice procurement target for the current kharif marketing season is set at 497 lakh tonnes (lt), which is 18 per cent more than 420 lt procured in the previous marketing season. Besides, there has been a substantial increase in procurement of rice during the 2019-20 rabi marketing season (RMS). As compared to 64 lt in the corresponding season, rice procured during the 2019-20 RMS was nearly 90 lt.

In the current season, 15,26,534 MT of paddy having MSP value of around ₹2,882 cores has been procured from 1,27,832 farmers of Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as on October 6.

The government fielded the top officials mainly to allay the concerns expressed by the agitating farmers that the government may do away with the MSP regime with the recent passage of three farm Bills.

Reassuring the farmers, the officials said the Narendra Modi government’s record on procurement has been exemplary.

Modi govt record

The FCI chief said that the government spent ₹1,90,380 crore for procuring wheat and rice in 2019-20 as against ₹1,33,617 crore allocated in 2016-17. Besides, the government payout for rice and wheat procurement in the current financial year so far was ₹1,20,155 crore, which is a whopping 53 per cent more than the corresponding period in the previous fiscal.

According to Capoor, the CCI has earmarked a sum of ₹35,000 crore for procuring cotton this year, which is ₹6,500 crore more than that in the previous year.

Agriculture Secretary Agarwal said the total area under kharif crop this is 1,095 lakh hectares (lh), 10 lh more than the previous record of 1,085 lh. He said the area under oilseeds, pulses and rice has gone up by 18 lh, 7 lh and 4 lh, respectively, as compared to last kharif season.

He said there has been substantial increase in procurement targets set and achieved by the Modi government compared to the previous UPA government. In paddy procurement alone, the government transferred ₹4.95 lakh crore to farmers during the last five years, 2.4 times more than the ₹2.06 lakh crore spent during the five years of the UPA-2. Similarly, the Modi government spent 98 times and 17 times more funds on procurement of pulses and oilseeds, respectively, during the same period as comapared to the second UPA regime.

Published on October 07, 2020

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