India’s Andhra Pradesh government introduces online cotton trading

The Andhra Pradesh state government is initiating a series of reforms using IT to bring in transparency in auctions, following a series of scandals that mired cotton purchases during 2014-15. To eliminate middlemen, the State government has introduced online trading in cotton. The eCrop booking data system, under which details of the farmers would be fed online and cross-checked at the time of trading.

Minister for Civil Supplies Prathipati Pulla Rao urged farmers to sell the produce only through the Agricultural Market Committees. Also the farmers bringing the produce to the yards should get their pattadar passbooks and Aadhaar cards.

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.

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 INR 4200 to INR 4300 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.

CCI branch manager Mohit Sharma said that the CCI personnel are in the market and they are ready to buy cotton at MSP. They are starting 43 procurement centres across A.P.

While Pasam Rama Rao, party district unit president has urged the Centre to relax the procurement norms and buy cotton with a moisture content of up to 20 %. The CP(M), however, has demanded that the MSP be fixed at INR 6000.

In addition there is another information on cotton in Andhar Pradesh:

43 cotton procurement centres to be opened

The government has announced INR. 4320 minimum support price (MSP) per quintal of cotton, but the farmers are failing to get MSP as the purchaser is offering low price. At the review meeting held by Civil Supplies Minister P Pulla Rao with the officials, directed them to take necessary steps to ensure MSP to farmers in Guntur district.

The Minister also instructed the officials to open purchase centres to procure cotton from farmers at MSP. He said that the agriculture department officials are expecting 4.66 lakh tonnes of cotton, out of 1.82 lakh hectares of farm lands in the district.

The Minister said that the officials would collect photostat copies of pattadar passbook and aadhaar during the purchase. The officials will deposit the amount in the bank accounts of farmers

Marketing Department Commissioner S Anand Kumar said that the department would open 43 purchase centres across the State. The department will install CC cameras at the purchase centres to curb the menace of middlemen and take all steps for the welfare of farmers.

The government has taken all steps to purchase cotton directly from farmers. Cotton Corporation of India officials would start 11 purchase centres in the district to purchase cotton produce from the farmers at MSP.