By admin       2016-09-27

Nagpur: After a gap of five years, cotton growers of Vidarbha can hope to take home a little more for their produce. During 2014 and 2015, majority of them had to sell at minimum support price (MSP), fixed at Rs4100. It was slightly more than that in the years before. Cotton is linked to the farmers' crisis in Vidarbha and the situation worsened due to a drought last year.With a host of favourable factors, it is expected that this season cotton may get more than Rs5,500 a quintal initially. It was in 2011 when the peasants here had seen an unprecedented boom with cotton prices touching Rs7,000 a quintal. But that was an exception. The prices had surged because of a huge demand from China. Even now, experts are sceptical about 2010 being repeated. The rates may be on the higher side initially but to sustain the bull run, there needs to be a strong demand from China and Pakistan, which are the major buyers of Indian cotton, experts say.The Chinese cotton output is down again to record levels, and it is expected that the country may buy substantially from the Indian market. Pakistan is the second biggest player in the business," said NP Hirani of Maharashtra Cotton Growers Federation.Initially, the rates may be high at Rs5,500 or above but when the arrivals increase, eventually rates may crash. There is a likelihood that MSP purchases may have to be started at that time, unless the bull run is supported by demand from China, he said.Hirani said profitability depends on the input per acre. If the yield is five quintals per acre, then even the MSP is enough. At Rs5,500 the margins will increase at a moderate level. Rains during September have helped and the cotton yield is expected to go up. However, unseasonal rains later on should not hamper the crop too. Normally, the harvest begins in October but this time it may be delayed by a month, Hirani said.Dr Keshav Kranthi, director of Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), said the acreage has gone down by over 10% at 102.8 lakh hectares in the country. In Maharashtra there is a marginal decrease only. With better yields expected the state's farmer may stand to gain, he said..

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