1. Agriculture World

Mandis in Punjab Witness 50-fold Rise in Cotton Arrival This Year

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
Cotton and farmers

Punjab has seen a 50-fold rise in the arrival of cotton crop at mandis compared to the figures till September 21 last year, owing to increased demand and better rates given by private players.

According to Punjab Mandi Board, about 80,000 quintals of crop were acquired at various mandis throughout the cotton belt in south Punjab till September 21. Only 1,637 quintals has arrived in the same period of the previous kharif season, according to several purchasing centres.

After last year's uncertainties, industry sources attribute the substantial increase in crop arrival to higher prices being provided by purchasers.

Despite the devastating pink bollworm attack, the Mansa and Bathinda areas have experienced a surge in cotton arrivals of 27,000 and 12,000 quintals, respectively. Farmers in Fazilka had sold almost 26,000 quintals of cotton as of September 21.

Cotton is being purchased for as much as Rs.7010 per quintal, according to mandi board data. Infact, over 98 percent of the product was purchased at prices higher than the season's projected minimum support price (MSP) of Rs.5925 per quintal.

This year, Punjab is expected to have 3.25 lakh hectares under cotton. Picking of bolls commences in mid-August in some areas where cotton is seeded before May, but the main harvest begins after September 15. According to market observers, cotton demand was low last year owing to uncertainties generated by Covid-induced restrictions.

Rajnish Goel, cotton state coordinator for the Mandi Board, stated that the average cotton rate in September 2020 will be around 4,500/quintal

Because the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) begins purchasing non-perishable crops on October 1, farmers have a propensity to stock the product until the market provides a higher price.

“At this time, the average cotton rate is 6,800-7,000/quintal, which is significantly more than the expected MSP. A formal announcement of MSP on long-medium varieties frequently sown in Punjab has not yet been published, but it is likely to be Rs.5925,” Goel said, adding that Punjab is expected to exceed last season's production of 50 lakh quintals.

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