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Farmers in a fix over ban on cotton exports
May '10
Thousands of farmers from Karnataka state are currently in a fix with the Centre's move to ban cotton exports.

The cash crop that has a huge demand the world over and with easy going farming methods of Bt cotton had persuaded many farmers to engage in its cultivation, thereby, earning them a handsome income. Thus, over the last three years the area of land under cotton cultivation has increased significantly.

The government had fixed MSP at Rs 2,900 per quintal, however, the farmers were earning around Rs 3,500 per quintal from the open market. At present, as a ban has been imposed on its exports, prices have further come down by Rs 300 to 400 per quintal.

Curbing the cotton prices domestically was the main aim with which the restriction was imposed, but majority of the farmers remained unaffected by the ban, as by this time around 80 percent of them had already sold their crops.

However, the ones who are mainly affected are the ginners who have stocked large quantities of unsold cotton bales in their mills. The state has around 500 ginning mills with around 1,000 traders and 10,000 commission agents relying on the cotton business.

Karnataka along with Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh is one of the country's main cotton-growing areas. The cash crop in the state is being cultivated on over 300,000 hectares of land. Each year, around 1.2 million cotton bales (1 bale = 170 kg) are processed from over 6 million quintals of cotton cultivated in the state.

More or less, the state has around 1.5 million cotton cultivators, and it contributes about five percent in the country's total cotton exports.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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