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Cotton consumption to increase this season: Irani
Dec '16
The consumption of cotton in India is likely to increase in the ongoing year owing to new mills, said Union textiles minister Smriti Irani. The production and consumption of cotton as predicted by the cotton advisory board (CAB) for this season (1st October, 2016 to 30th September, 2017) are 351 lakh bales and 313 lakh bales (of 170 kgs each), respectively.

An increase in the installed capacity in spinning sector is another reason why the surplus of production over consumption is expected to decline in the coming years, said Irani in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

Multiple steps are being taken by the government to increase production. Department of agriculture, cooperation and farmers welfare has implemented cotton development programme with a focus on cropping system approach under national food security mission (NFSM) in 15 major cotton growing states since 2014-15 with an aim to increase production and productivity.

Under the scheme, thrust is given for transfer of latest technology to cotton growers through front line demonstration (FLD) on integrated crop management (ICM), intercropping, desi and extra long staple cotton and high density planting system. The scheme is being implemented through state department of agriculture (SDA), Indian council of agricultural research (ICAR), state agriculture universities (SAUs) and krishi vigyan kendras  (KVKs) among others.

With a view to promote cotton farming, during cotton season 2016-17, cooperation and farmer welfare has fixed minimum support price for medium staple length cotton at Rs 3860 per quintal and for long staple at Rs 4160 per quintal. Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has been entrusted with procurement of cotton from farmers at minimum support price (MSP) to protect the interest of farmers by giving MSP to their produce to avoid distress sale.

In another reply to Lok Sabha, Irani said that during cotton season 2015-16, Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) purchased seed cotton equivalent to 8.44 lakh bales at minimum support price (MSP). CCI procured 5,95,159 bales, 1,16,799 bales and 51,501 bales of cotton from Telangana, Maharashtra and Gujarat, respectively.

During cotton season 2015-16, cotton prices in the country abnormally increased in the month of May/July 2016 due to damage by white fly pests in northern region and pink boll worm attack in Gujarat region and panic buying by the mills to cover their lean season requirement.

In order to safeguard the interest of the textile industry including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the ministry of textiles decided in July, 2016 to sell the balance unsold stock available with CCI to MSMEs through e-sale so as to provide them some relief from cotton price volatility in the market and stabilise the market prices. Accordingly, all cotton stocks of CCI were sold. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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