The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has given its approval for MSP support for cotton of Rs.17,408.85 crore to the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) for the cotton seasons from 2014-15 to 2020-21 (up to 30.09.2021).
In order to safeguard the interests of the cotton farmers, it is expedient to conduct price support operations in cotton years 2014-15 to 2020-21 as cotton prices touched the MSP (minimum support price) prices. Its implementation enhances the inclusiveness of cotton farmers in the economic activity of the country. Price support operations help stabilise the cotton prices and alleviate farmers’ distress.
Cotton is one of the most important cash crops and plays a major role in sustaining the livelihood of around 58 lakh cotton farmers and 400 to 500 lakh people engaged in related activities such as cotton processing and trade.
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During cotton season 202-21, the area under cotton cultivation was 133 lakh hectares with an estimated production of 360 lakh bales, which account for around 25% of total global cotton production. The Government of India based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) fixes MSP for seed cotton (kapas).
The Government of India appoints CCI as Central nodal agency and CCI is mandated to undertake MSP in cotton by procuring all FAQ grade cotton from farmers without any quantitative celling, as and when cotton prices fall below MSP level. MSP operations protect cotton farmers from distress sale during any adverse price situation.
MSP operations being sovereign function in nature motivates cotton farmers in the country to keep their sustained interest in cotton cultivation so as to make India self-reliant for quality cotton which is a raw material for the spinning industry. CCI keeps its infrastructure ready in all 11 major cotton-growing states by opening 474 procurement centres in 143 districts.
During global pandemic in the last two cotton seasons (2019-20 and 2020-21), CCI procured around one-third of the cotton produced in the country i.e. about 200 lakh bales and disbursed more than Rs.55,000 crore directly in the bank accounts of around 40 lakh farmers.
For the current cotton season i.e. 2021-22, CCI has already made all adequate arrangements in all 11 major cotton-growing states including deployment of manpower at more than 450 procurement centres, so as to meet any eventuality of MSP operations.