Chandigarh, October 4,2020: Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and MLA Prof. Baljinder Kaur said that cotton farmers from Malwa are being forced to sell their produce below the Minimum Support Price (MSP) because the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) hasn’t started their procurement yet. The MSP of cotton was set between Rs. 5515 and 5725 per quintal, but the products are being procured at Rs. 4000 to Rs. 4500 per quintal. Moreover, businessmen are claiming that they are unable to purchase the product because of the high moisture content. Prof. Baljinder Kaur said that the farmers are now left with no option but to sell their produce at below MSP.
Prof. Baljinder Kaur said that although the government has set MSP of cotton at Rs. 5515 to Rs. 5725, the farmers are being forced to sell them at Rs. 4000 to Rs. 4500. Farmers are stating that this is the reason that they are being forced to sell their paddy and grain produce early because the government ensured MSP on these crops. However, as per the new law passed by the Modi government, these two crops would also be given in the hands of the private players.
Prof. Kaur said today that in the Mandis of Malwa, the cotton is being procured at Rs. 4000 and Rs. 5000, when for the long fiber variety of cotton the MSP is Rs. 5825 per quintal and for the short fiber variety of cotton the MSP is Rs. 5500 per quintal. She added that the government forced the farmers to grow maize, cotton, lentils and vegetables to promote crop diversification, but they didn’t focus on its procurement and marketing. “Instead of promoting diversification of crop, the government became successful in destroying farmers further”, said Prof. Kaur. She added, “the government had promised a subsidy of Rs. 5000 per hectare for farmers who would switch to crops that consume less water, however, waiting for the subsidy to reach them, the farmers are now concerned about how they will pay their bills.”