The Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the long staple is Rs 7,020 per quintal.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | 

September 14, 2023 

Cotton growers have something to cheer about as the first picking of the crop is fetching them more than the minimum support price (MSP) in Punjab’s cotton belt as of now. However, all the buyers are private players as Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) hasn’t yet purchased anything from the mandis.

On Wednesday, the rate of cotton in the mandis of Fazilka, Muktsar, Bathinda and Mansa was in the range of Rs 7,400 to Rs 7,600 per quintal against the MSP of Rs 6,620 per quintal for the medium-size staple, while in the neighbouring Ganganagar district of Rajasthan the price had crossed Rs 8,000 per quintal.

“Pink bollworm threat is there but under control as of now. So, the first picking of cotton has received a good response. We hope the crop is kept from the pest attack in future also and the rate increases further,” said Gurmeet Singh Cheema, Chief Agriculture Officer, Fazilka, while talking to The Indian Express

It may be noted that the area under cotton in Punjab has reduced drastically to 1.75 lakh hectares compared to 2.48 lakh hectares last year and so, the production will eventually be less based on the area under cotton cultivation. Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar and Fazilka are the main cotton-cultivating districts which grow nearly 95% of the cotton in the state. Faridkot, Barnala, Sangrur and Moga also grow a fraction of this cash crop.

“Sprays are being used by farmers where the crop is hit by pink bollworm. As of now, only first picking of cotton has happened. We hope the second, third and fourth pickings are also equally good,” Cheema added. So far around 30,000 quintals of the crop has arrived in the mandis of the cotton belt. The cotton arrivals had started from the last week of August and they are likely to be procured in the coming fortnight.

The MSP for the long staple is Rs 7,020 per quintal.

“In the initial days, some cotton stock got sold at Rs 6,400 per quintal as well but eventually prices improved,” said arhtiya (middleman) Jaswinder Singh from Abohar cotton mandi. In Bareta mandi of Mansa, Wednesday’s rate was Rs 7,400 per quintal for medium staple, said Jetinder Mohan Garg, president of Kaccha Arhtiya Association of Bareta mandi. 

Dilbagh Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer, Mansa, said, “This year the area under cotton was 25,890 hectares and so far around 10,000 quintals of cotton has arrived in the mandis. The rates are satisfactory as of now.” In Muktsar, the total cotton arrivals in this season are around 3,500 quintals as the area under cotton has reduced drastically, while in Bathinda around 7,600 quintals of cotton has arrived in the mandis in the first picking compared to 3,500 quintals last year, said Hasan Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer, Bathinda.

Rates of cotton in Muktsar’s mandis were in the range of Rs 7,400 to Rs 7,570 per quintal, said a Mandi board official, while in Abohar and Fazilka the rates were in the range of Rs 7,400 to Rs 7,600 per quintal. The area under cotton is the highest in Fazilka which is 92,000 hectares. “In Ganganagar’s mandis, cotton was sold at Rs 8,005 per quintal. Ganganagar of Rajasthan is a neighbouring town of Abohar. But, so far farmers are selling in Punjab mandis only,” said Darshan Singh of Giddranwali village (Abohar). “If the pink bollworm is kept at bay, or if it is controlled by sprays, the price of cotton can touch Rs 10,000 per quintal this season,” said Jetinder Mohan Garg.