COTTON SECTOR IN INDIA
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Context: The Cott-Ally mobile app has been developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to increase awareness about the minimum support price (MSP) rates, the nearest procurement centres, payment tracking, and the best farm practices for cotton crops.
- The Cott-Ally app is especially useful for cotton farmers, as it provides them with timely and accurate information on the MSP rates for different varieties of cotton, as well as the location and contact details of the nearest procurement centres.
- It allows farmers to register their crop details and track their payment status online. This way, they can avoid middlemen and get their dues directly in their bank accounts.
- It offers a wealth of information on the best farm practices for cotton cultivation, such as soil testing, seed selection, pest management, irrigation, harvesting, etc. It provides tips on how to improve the quality and yield of cotton, as well as how to reduce the cost of production and increase profitability.
Measures taken by the government for the development of the cotton sector
Cotton Development Programme under National Food Security Mission (NFSM)
- The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare implements this program in 15 major cotton-growing states to enhance production and productivity. Various forms of assistance are provided to farmers, including demonstrations, trials on high-density planting, distribution of plant protection chemicals and bio-agents, as well as national and state-level training. In the fiscal year 2022-23, a central share of Rs. 15.11 crores was allocated to states under this scheme.
Minimum Support Price (MSP) Formula
- The government introduced a formula to determine the MSP for cotton. It is set at 1.5 times the cost of production (A2+FL) to ensure that cotton farmers receive a fair price for their produce. The MSP was increased by about 6% for the 2022-23 cotton seasons and is projected to rise by 9-10% for the 2023-24 seasons.
Cotton Corporation of India (CCI)
- CCI serves as the central nodal agency responsible for MSP operations when the prices of Fair Average Quality grade seed cotton (kapas) fall below the MSP rates. This mechanism protects farmers from distress sales and ensures they receive a reasonable income.
"Kasturi Cotton India" Brand Name
- The brand "Kasturi Cotton India" was launched to promote Indian cotton. An MoU was signed between CCI and TEXPROCIL to establish traceability, certification, and branding for this variety. This initiative involves a corpus fund of Rs. 30 crores, jointly contributed by the industry and the Ministry of Textiles (MoT) over 3 years.
Special Project on Cotton
- The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare sanctioned a special project aimed at enhancing cotton productivity. With a budget outlay of Rs. 41.87 crores under NFSM during 2023-24, this project focuses on technologies like High-Density Planting System (HDPS), closer spacing, and production technology for Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton. It's implemented in a cluster-based and value chain approach in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to farmers.
Textile Advisory Group (TAG)
- The Ministry of Textiles established TAG to facilitate coordination among various ministries and stakeholders throughout the cotton value chain. TAG's purpose is to deliberate and provide recommendations on issues related to productivity, prices, branding, and more.
Cott-Ally Mobile App
- The Cott-Ally mobile app was developed to increase farmer awareness. It provides information on MSP rates, nearest procurement centres, payment tracking, and best farming practices.
Committee on Cotton Promotion and Consumption (COCPC)
- COCPC is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the cotton scenario in India. It advises the government on matters concerning cotton production and consumption, ensuring a balanced approach.
These measures collectively contribute to the growth, sustainability, and support of the cotton sector in India, benefiting both farmers and the textile industry.
Cotton Industry: https://www.iasgyan.in/blogs/cotton-industry-upsc
COTTON INDUSTRY: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/cotton-industry
Q. What are the primary challenges that cotton farming encounters in India, and how do these challenges impact the overall cotton industry in the country? In light of these challenges, what strategies or approaches can be adopted to effectively tackle them and ensure the long-term sustainable growth of the cotton sector within India?