Vidarbha cotton farmers flay union Govt.’s Decision not allow Cotton Export: Hunger Strike on 1st May to lift cotton export ban
NAGPUR: April 28, 2011
The recent announcement of Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma that there is no immediate proposal to allow raise cotton bales exports quota which has shattered the hopes of dying vidarbha getting a good price for their produce remained short-lived for cotton growers. Prices plummeted to below Rs 4,500 a quintal during last fortnight after touching a high of Rs 7,000,has been flayed by vidarbha cotton farmer’s activist group vidarbha Jannadolan Samiti (VJAS) and threaten to start hunger strike from 1st may to press demand to raise cotton bales export quota 1.5million from existing 55 lakhs ,Kishore Tiwari of vidarbha Jannadolan Samiti (VJAS) informed in press release today.
‘The remark on the issue of increasing export quota of cotton by 1.5 million bales to 55 Lakhs bales, the minister said that Cotton industry's requirements are always uppermost in the mind of the textile ministry or of the group of ministers has added futher fuel in to agrarian crisis of cotton growing region of west vidarbha whre more than 10,000 farmers killed thenslves due to debt and crop failure ’Tiwari added.
The government had put a quantitative cap of 5.5 million bales (170 kg each) on cotton exports for the year ending September this year and earlier promised raise the limit up to 1.50 million bales as india’s is estimated to have harvested 33.9 million bales crop this year (2010-11) as against 24.22 million bales in the previous year as per recent announcement of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar .
Earlier in the month of February Committee of Secretaries (CoS) in decided to keep the cap on cotton exports at 55 lakh bales and reject Maharashtra state's request to increase it to 75 lakh bales has come as a shock for farm activists and cotton experts in the state now commerce minister has disappointed dying vidarbha farmers were expecting to make good money and wipe out old losses in once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But the exports restriction would mean the domestic prices would come down," lamented Kishore Tiwari.
Slamming the Union government decision, VJAS alleged that the bureaucrats were influenced by strong lobbying by textile mill owners who want cheap raw material to increase their profit margins.
"This decision is shocking. Why put a restriction when there is good demand in global market and benefits of good price can be passed on to cotton farmers who have suffered for over a decade because of unremunerative prices, cotton growers may not get another such chance of high open market prices domestically and globally " asked Tiwari .
"Floods hit crop in China and Pakistan while crop area was cut down in the US, the other major producer. So it's a rare chance that Indian farmer got this time as cotton crop in India was exceptionally good. Moreover, when 83 lakh bales were exported last year, why should the Centre scale it down in a good crop year hence we are demanding the lift all quantitative restriction on cotton export," Tiwari demanded..