Vidarbha, the eastern region of the Indian state of Maharashtra is amongst the maximum cotton growing region that contributes 30 percent of the crop followed by Marathwada regions comprising the districts of Yavatmal, Nanded, Amravati, Parbhani, Wardha, Jalgaon, Akola, Buldhana, Nagpur, Dhule, etc. The Maharashtra government is working on a exhaustive policy to integrate six distressed districts of Vidarbha through 80 percent cotton industry to restore its tag of “white gold”.
The policy intends to address problems of farmers in the country’s largest cotton growing belt across Nagpur, Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Washim and Wardha.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis directed the officials to expedite work to transform Amravati district as the international textile hub of country. The detailed plan includes integrating three nodal departments of textile, finance and agricuture, to work towards attaining the target of the ambitious project.
In the 2016-17 budget, it plans to earmark special allocation to promote cotton based industries in Vidarbha to address its socio-economic problems.
The state government intends to promote the textile sector through public-private-partnership. Highly placed sources in the government revealed that the state government will spend Rs2,000 crore in the region as part of the farm-to-fashion drive.
The value added chain to integrate farmers with the textile industry is lacking for which the Maharashtra had been pushing hard to seek higher minimum support price from the centre for cotton. However, the centre has fixed MSP at Rs 4,100 per quintal.
A senior officer in the ministry of cooperation and marketing said that the process of cotton procurement is on with outlets including Nagpur, Auranagabad. The Maharashtra State Co-Operative Cotton Growers Marketing Federation (MSCCGMF) procured around 39641 quintals till now. The target of 100 lakh quintal is higher than last season’s 27 lakh quintal.
The pilot project under the “farm to fashion” is sanctioned in Amravati, the second biggest city after Nagpur in Vidarbha region. At Nandgaon, 500 hectares of land has been approved for the textile hub which has received proposal from eight players. The work has already started. The primary concern of the state government is to provide basic infrastructure to make industries more conducive. It is estimated that all cotton related small and medium scale industries would be promoted in the region including maximum cotton spinning mills in Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Washim.
Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation will play facilitator for providing land for the textile sector in Amravati, spread across 500 hectares at Nandgaon.