New Delhi: Cotton Corporation of India may procure about 60 lakh bales in the current marketing year ending September as domestic prices are lower than the minimum support price in some parts of the country.
In the first three months of the 2012-13 marketing year, CCI, the government's nodal agency for procuring cotton, has already procured over 13 lakh bales (of 170 kg each) and plans to buy another 19 lakh bales in January.
"CCI is expected to buy about 60 lakh bales of cotton in the current marketing year which will help growers fetch the right price, especially in Andhra Pradesh where the corporation would conduct majority of its procurement operations," a Textiles Ministry official said.
CCI has also been asked to start sales operation to offload the stock it has procured, he added.
In Andhra Pradesh, prices of the natural fibre are lower than minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 3,900/quintal for long- staple, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) Secretary General D K Nair said.
The quality of the cotton has been affected in the state due to untimely rains, he added.
The corporation is procuring cotton from farmers in large quantities at MSP after a gap of three years. In 2008-09, CCI had procured 90 lakh bales, Nair said.
According to Cotton Advisory Board (CAB), the country's total production is estimated at 33.4 million bales in the 2012-13 crop year, as against 35.3 million bales.
While consumption is estimated at 26 million bales, exportable surplus is projected to be 7 million bales.
In November, the government had projected cotton procurement at 90 lakh bales in this marketing year to protect the interests of growers.
Besides CCI, Nafed has also been designated to undertake the procurement operation.