Direct Benefit Transfer scheme for cotton farmers
The Central Government is planning to introduce Direct Benefit Transfer scheme the cotton farmers in the face of falling global cotton consumption and the demand for higher Minimum Support Price for cotton emanating from some states.
Inaugurating the 74th Plenary of the International Cotton Advisory Committee in Mumbai, Union Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said the Centre has kept the cotton growers interest in mind and increased the MSP for long staple cotton to Rs 4,100 for the 2015-16 marketing season, a Textiles Ministry statement said.
A pilot project under the Direct Payment Deficiency System (DPDS) for paying MSP guarantee for the cotton farmers has been initiated at Hinganghat taluka of Maharashtra. Under this system, the farmers will directly get the amount which is the difference between the MSP and the market price, should the market price fall below the MSP. For availing of the benefit, farmers would have to present proof of cotton sold at Agriculture Produce Market Committee yards, plus other papers such as ownership document, yield estimation and other details. If the pilot is successful, the DPDS would be rolled out in all cotton growing regions. Textiles Secretary S K Panda said the new move would benefit the farmers substantially.
The cotton procurement through the traditional route of Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) or state federations has been subdued this season and is expected to be lower than last year due to firm prices, which are ruling above MSP. In the 2014-15 marketing season that ended in October 2015, CCI had procured a record 8.6 million bales of cotton across the country.
However, the International Cotton Advisory Committee has revised downward world cotton consumption, following a drastic slowdown in China, which is the largest consumer of cotton. Cotton Consumption in China is expected to be 7.33 million tonnes against 7.52 million tonnes last year. The cotton consumption in India is expected to go up by a modest 3 per cent from 5.4 million tonnes last year to 5.49 million tonnes this year.
The Textiles Ministry has estimated cotton output in India to decline this year to 36.5 million bales, as compared to 38 million bales last year. This is due to a fall in acreage to 11.76 million hectares, from 13.08 million hectares last year. The yield however is actually estimated to rise significantly this year, to 527.49 kg per ha from 493.77 kg last year, on sowing of higher yielding seed. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India