By admin       2017-11-03

: The State government has introduced online trading in cotton to do away with the middlemen. The eCrop booking data system, under which details of the farmers would be fed online and cross-checked at the time of trading, is expected to eliminate the middlemen. Following a series of scandals that mired cotton purchases during 2014-15, the government is initiating a series of reforms using IT to bring in transparency in auctions. Minister for Civil Supplies Prathipati Pulla Rao, who addressed a review meeting on Thursday, said farmers bringing the produce to the yards should get their pattadar passbooks and Aadhaar cards. He also urged the farmers to sell the produce only through the Agricultural Market Committees. Though the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) facilitates trading and steps in when there is a fall in price, the farmers have always been at the mercy of the middlemen, who procure cotton bales at a lower price and sell them at a higher price. MSP But the CCI is expected to play a major role this year as the average price of is hovering over ₹4,300 per quintal, which is equal to the minimum support price (MSP). The average price of high quality cotton at Khammam and Kurnool are also around ₹4,200 to ₹4,300 per quintal. Cotton arrivals have started picking up in the district with the farmers under the NSP right canal project bringing the produce at the market yards in the Palnadu region. Cotton is cultivated in 1.82 lakh hectares in the district and the yield is expected to reach 4.66 lakh tones. “The CCI personnel are in the market and we are ready to buy cotton at MSP. We are starting 43 procurement centres across A.P.,” said CCI branch manager Mohit Sharma. CPI(M) demand The CP(M), however, has demanded that the MSP be fixed at ₹6,000. “Why is the government not able to demand an MSP of ₹6,000 per quintal? Hasn’t the Chief Minister promised that he would raise the MSP by at least 50% during elections? We urge the Centre to relax the procurement norms and buy cotton with a moisture content of up to 20%,” said Pasam Rama Rao, party district unit president.

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