By admin       2017-02-15

NAGPUR: The minimum support price (MSP) of cotton varieties is based on the staple (fibre) length, fineness, and moisture content. However, experts feel the fibre or lint content should also be considered as an equally important factor.The argument is that higher lint or ginning per cent (GP) indicates better quality cotton, with lesser wastage. This will not only fetch a better price for farmers but also better quality cotton for further processing by ginners. Farmers and ginners are already demanding inclusion of GP in fixing the cotton price. However, this will not be easy, since incorporating GP as a measure of quality will require instrumentation at every step in cotton purchase and processing.Experts say cotton farmers have always been at the receiving end due to varied reasons, like bad weather, low minimum support price (MSP), rising production costs, low production etc. The cotton procurement system too is unfair since it does not include GP.GP represents the actual percentage of fibre in the raw seed-cotton sold by farmers. GP should be the most important parameter in evaluating quality since it determines the net amount of cotton fibre (lint) available after separating the seeds (ginning). Higher the GP, more is the fibre content, so such cotton should fetch higher price.However, ginners and government purchasing departments are unable to quantify lint quantity at point of purchase. This deprives farmers of higher profit for their produce. In fact, government should fix cotton MSP by lint quantity, just like sugar content sets the price for sugar cane. This will benefit farmers as well ginners and spinners. The current cotton grading, by estimating fibre qualities with visual inspection, results in different assessment by every individual," said a cotton scientist.

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