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Gujarat CM intervenes on Indian cotton export situation
May '11
Chief Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi of Gujarat, India's number one cotton producing state has stated that the export policy of the Indian Union Government is anti-farmer one and has written an urgent letter to Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh.

The letter sent by Mr. Modi insists that the Indian government should lift the cotton export ban immediately. Gujarat Chief Minister has also requested a separate export allocation of 10 lakh (1 million) bales of 170 kg each for his state. "While internationally cotton prices are increasing, we are having opposite experience at home-front where prices are going down," said Mr. Modi.

In his letter to Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Modi pointed out that cotton producers have no arrangement to store their yield and therefore they are compelled to sell cotton at lower prices. In commenting on the price crash, the chief minister said, "BT cotton Sankar 6's price has come down from Rupees 44,000 per candy from earlier Rupees 62,500, while short staple V 797 cotton price is down at Rupees 25,000 from earlier Rupees 50,000 per candy. Raw BT Cotton was priced at Rupees 7,250, but now its price is 40% down."

The Chief Minister also pointed out that while last year 295 lakh bales cotton was produced and 85 lakh export quota was approved, this year there has been 330 lakh bales production, but the approved export quota is only 55 lakh bales.

According to the latest estimate from India's Cotton Advisory Board, state of Gujarat is projected to produce 102 lakh (10.2 million) bales of 170 kg each, which is one third of India's expected total production of 312 lakh (31.2 million) bales each weighing 170 kgs.

Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

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