1. Agriculture World

Cabinet Increases MSP for Cotton Despite Decrease in Production in Past Few Years

Garsha Sai Nitesh
Garsha Sai Nitesh

The Cabinet  Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in its meeting on June 1, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP) of 14 Kharif crops for the marketing season 2020-21.

 “The Cabinet meeting on June 1, approved revised minimum support price for 14 Kharif crops. The new prices will provide farmers 50-83 per cent more than cost,” said Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in a cabinet briefing.

 The government in its official press release said that the increase in MSP of Kharif crops for the marketing season 2020-21 is to ensure remunerative prices for farmers produce in next season.

Among 14 MSP proposed Niger Seed price increased by Rs 755 per quintal followed by the Seasmum which increased by Rs 379 per quintal, Urad by Rs 300 per quintal and cotton by Rs 275 per quintal.

However, the Cotton Association of India(CAI) in its estimates released in April, predicted that the cotton crop for the season 2019-2020 to reduce by 7 per cent. The CAI reduced the production from 354.50 lakh bales estimated earlier to 330 lakh bales of 170kgs.

At present, India is the world’s largest cotton producer. Yet, India’s cotton crop production is reducing the past few years. Extensive use of water, excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers, and decreasing productivity for hector is hurting the cotton production.

Though at present India stands at first in cotton production across the world, the productivity to hectare is severely low.  The Cotton Association of India estimated that the productivity of cotton per hectare during the season 2018-19 stands at mere 420.72 kgs, which is about 2.47 bales per hectare.

 This shows higher land usage, but a low-income return for cotton farmers. Practices involved are not conducive to increase yields as farmers are stuck to old practices like using heavy fertilizers will kill the insects and save the crop. Experts pointed to make farmers aware of healthier cotton practices and improved farming techniques which can be the key to turn around.

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