Farmers’ crucial meet on 26thocto. to discuss Cotton Pricing:
*“Cloth, garment prices have doubled I last two years, it would be unjust to pay two year old price to raw cotton when farmers have incurred heavy expenses in inputs,”-N P Hirani-chiarman-The Maharashtra state cotton grower’s co-operative federation
**“ When Indian crop is bad, the government readily allows free imports to help the garment, textile selector. So why does it not show the same sensitivity for farmer and provide incentive to exports when demand and price are good in world market” asked Kishor Tiwari.
Cotton is the biggest cash crop grown in Vidarbha region and some parts of Marathwada and Khandesh. The price the crop gets decides the fate of three million families in the state which has the largest area under cotton crop in the country.
The Centre and the state government have indicated that they would not be in a position to pay more than Rs. 3000 a quintal as the minimum procurement price, a rate fixed two years ago. But farmers’ pressure groups like Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, which is organizing the conference, say the price is unfair as input costs have gone up in the last two years and so is the spiraling inflation.
“Open market prices are already ruling over Rs 4000 a quintal. While there are clear indications that prices may firm up in international market mainly because crops in China and Pakistan have been ruined by floods, the Indian farmer could take advantage of the situation and export to the countries like China, Bangladesh, where there is high demand for short staple cotton that we produce” said Kishore Tiwari of the VJAS.
But, strangely, succumbing to the pressure of the textile lobby the Union government has proposed to impose export duty Rs 2500 a tonne. “This decision is bound to bring down domestic prices by 30%, hitting the domestic farmers” said Tiwari.
Questioning the restrictions put on export by removing it from open general license regime, Tiwari said the government was doing injustice to the cotton growers. “ When Indian crop is bad, the government readily allows free imports to help the garment, textile selector. So why does it not show the same sensitivity for farmer and provide incentive to exports when demand and price are good in world market” asked Tiwari.