Gujarat demands increase in cotton export quota


Gujarat agriculture minister Dilip Sanghani today said the cotton prices in the country has fallen due to the "anti-farmer" export policies of the Central government.

"The union textile ministry is trying to protect the textile lobby of south India by banning the export of cotton, which has resulted into the present crisis, including falling prices thus gripping the cotton farmers of the state," Sanghani said.

Sanghani said that there was an urgent need for raising the cotton export quota from the state.

"The prices of cotton have plummeted to below Rs 4,200 a quintal during the last fortnight from a high of Rs 7,200. The situation can be salvaged by hiking the export quota to 15 million cotton bales from the existing 5.5 million," Sanghani said.

He pointed out that the export restrictions should be lifted in the wake of good demand for cotton in the global markets which the country can exploit and the farmers can pare the losses incurred in the past decade.

The state minister also wrote a letter to Sharad Pawar, union agriculture minister, stating that Centre’s allocation of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) was improper and the Centre was doing injustice to Gujarat.

In his letter, Sanghani noted that the allocation made by Centre was far less than the state’s requirement and that could create a shortage of the fertilizer during the kharif season in 2011. As against Gujarat’s requirement for 500,000 tonnes of DAP during kharif-2011, the Centre assured 480,000 tonnes at the zonal meeting.