Gujarat remained the top cotton producing state in the country — 108 lakh bales in 2014-15 season, even as the other states witnessed a bumper annual production.
According to the Cotton Corporation of India(CCI), the total production in the country during the season was 390 lakh bales, against 370 lakh bales in 2013-14.
Maharashtra remained second, recording a production of 83 lakh bales, followed by Telangana (57 lakh bales), Karnantaka (30 lakh bales), Andhra Pradesh (27 lakh bales), Haryana (25 lakh bales), Rajasthan (17 lakh bales), Punjab (14 lakh bales), Tamil Nadu (5 lakh bales), Orissa (4 lakh bales) and others two lakh bales.
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CCI officials said that these figures could go up further as figures from several areas were still awaited.
Meanwhile, the CCI has procured 86 lakh bales so far directly from the farmers all over the country at the minimum support price (MSP).
The maximum procurement — 35 lakh bales — is reported from Telangana. But the CCI procurement from Gujarat, which has recorded maximum production, is only 17 lakh bales. The procurement from Maharashtra is 18 lakh bales, 1.25 lakh bales from Punjab and 0.8 lakh bales each from Haryana and Punjab.
As for poor procurement from Gujarat, Cotton Corporation of India’s retired general manager and cotton consultant Shafibhai Shah said farmers in the state have the hoarding potential and hence, they have not released all their produce. They are waiting for lean season when they expect prices to go up beyond the MSP and earn more.
“As for Telangana farmers, they are poor and don’t have the potential to hold back their goods and hence, they have sold out most of their stock during the season when the prices are generally low,” said Shah.
The total procurement, according to the CCI officials, is expected to cross 90 lakh bales. Last year, it had procured 89.9 lakh bales.
Sources said that the CCI might face disposal problem because of little demand from the international market and a bumper production of the crop in the country.
But M Chokalingam, CCI director(marketing), said he was hopeful of selling “good quantity every month as quality of cotton procured by the CCI was better compared to what was available in general in the market”.
With regard to the CCI’s price of Rs 34,000 per candy, which is higher than the market price of Rs. 32,500, he said that buyers were getting better quality of the material from the CCI at this price.