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India needs a comprehensive cotton fibre policy: NITMA
10
Sep '16
The Northern India Textile Mills’ Association (NITMA) has urged the government to create a comprehensive cotton fibre policy. The association believes that ensuring sufficient stock to use ratio for cotton fibre and providing the fibre throughout the year at international spot prices can put an end to the challenges being faced by the struggling industry.

NITMA also recommends the government to avoid getting involved in the manufacturing process of ginning and directly pay the difference between minimum support price (MSP) and market price to the farmer. A roadmap is required to improve cotton yield and its quality, and revamping the role of Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) can help meet the objectives.

One of the main concerns for the industry is that the country does not have sufficient surplus cotton. India’s competitors like Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Vietnam among others buy 20 to 30 per cent of the crop, forcing India to import it at relatively high prices at the end of the season. Moreover, sowing has taken a hit of 10 to 15 per cent in the current season and there is no proper mechanism for measuring crop arrivals and forecasting crop.

“We feel that government like other agricultural crops needs to ensure sufficient availability of cotton at competitive prices to the industry, otherwise the industry would find it difficult to move up the value added chain and become a large manufacturer of textile products like China, Bangladesh etc. It could instead be rendered as a supplier of raw material like African, CIS nations,” said Sanjay Jain, president, NITMA.

Giving suggestion for development and sustainability of cotton value chain to the government, Jain added, “Create a cotton board with a clear mission and goal to take India’s productivity to 1000 kg of lint/hectare grown by 2020. Farmers earnings growth needs to come from productivity and efficiency rather than industry paying more for fibre – this is the only way to protect interests of both farmer and industry.”

Some of the other suggestions the association has given include allowing funding for cotton stocking at subsidised rates of 2 per cent below the base rate from October to April, scientifically determining the area under cultivation, imposing import duty on edible oils to improve the cotton economics and working on reducing contamination. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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