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Activist moots Gujarat-like bonus for Maha cotton growers
Dec '15
A prominent farm activist has called upon the Maharashtra government to provide immediate relief to Vidarbha's cotton growers by emulating the 'Gujarat model' and declaring bonus for the produce sold through Cotton Corporation of India centres.

The Gujarat government recently declared a bonus of Rs 650 per quintal on the produce sold through CCI centres.

"Cotton-producing farmers are already facing an economic burden due to crop failure for the last two years. On top of it, market rates of cotton are also sluggish, nearing the minimum support price (MSP) level," Kishor Tiwari, who has now been appointed director of the state government's Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM), told PTI.

"Thus, the state government, as a healing touch to these farmers, should declare a bonus for them, taking cues from the Gujarat government."

Tiwari said he has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, stating that the condition of farmers in Maharashtra is worse than in Gujarat, asking him to consider giving a bonus on the lines of an advance bonus payout for cotton, which existed before 1997.

He cautioned that by the time results of government flagship schemes like 'Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan' and loan waiver of farmers make their mark at the ground level, it might be too late. He suggested that the government can at least help cotton farmers with temporary relief until the long-term measures bear fruit.

The exercise could benefit one lakh cotton growers and is estimated to cost the government around Rs 300 crore.

Tiwari warned that investments won't come up is the state's rural areas until the government ushers in reforms in those places. Without that, all relief measures will remain temporary. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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