The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), which is holding surplus stocks of cotton just ahead of the next harvest season, is trying to boost exports. A memorandum of understanding is being worked out to export 15-20 lakh bales (of 170 kg each) of cotton to Bangladesh while CCI will also set up its own warehouse in Vietnam, said CCI chairman PK Agarwal.

The corporation had procured nearly a third of India’s 2019-20 cotton output. Of the 12.1 million bales it had procured, along with its agent Maharashtra State Cooperative Marketing Federation, it has been able to sell 900,000 bales in the present cotton season, which ends on September 30.

“To increase exports to Vietnam, we are looking for a warehouse to facilitate transport and easy availability of our cotton to buyers in Vietnam,” Agarwal was quoted as saying by a top Indian business newspaper.

Farmers in Tamil Nadu, especially those in delta areas who harvested cotton summer crop this year, faced low demand and prices because of the lockdown and COVID-19 impact. However, with the intervention of the state government, CCI has stepped in and purchased over 40 per cent of the crop so far, offering relief to farmers.

Since the first week of June, CCI has reportedly purchased 18,000 bales of cotton, which is nearly 40-50 per cent of the arrivals so far. This is mostly cotton with less than 12 per cent moisture content. CCI has also tied up with ginning units so that the cotton procured is moved from the markets to the ginning units in a week.

The Tamil Nadu government has made temporary arrangements in more cotton growing areas so that farmers can sell the produce faster to the CCI or traders.

According to J Thulasidharan, president of Indian Cotton Federation, Tamil Nadu is the only state that has a summer cotton crop and usually the industry buys the cotton.