The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has started procuring cotton at minimum support price (MSP) in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat. In Punjab and Haryana, the arrivals have started early this season (October 2019 to September 2020).

The CCI had always been present in all the four States in the past too. But farmers got higher market prices and were not offering the cotton to the CCI. Farmers were offering the cotton now after nearly four years in Punjab and Haryana which meant they were not getting good market prices now. In Rajasthan, too, the CCI did not have MSP operations for the last couple of years, says P. Alli Rani, CMD, CCI.

The MSP ranges between Rs. 5,450 and Rs.5,550 per quintal and the market price in many places is lower than that, she said.

“This is just the beginning of the season and rains are continuing in several areas. Farmers are expected to bring higher volumes of cotton to the market only after the rains stop. We have purchased just 1% of the arrival, which is estimated to be approximately 12 lakh bales. We cannot say now how the prices will be as the arrivals increase,” she said.

The CCI has operations in more than 100 centres in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. But it is not buying at MSP at all the centres.

Last cotton season, which ended on September 30, the CCI had purchased nearly 10 lakh bales at MSP. Its total purchase was 10.7 lakh bales and had sold two lakh bales. “We have gone in for value- based pricing and the quality of the cotton stock with us is high,” she said.