Gujarat declares Rs 110 per 20 kg bonus for cotton farmers

A resounding defeat in rural areas during local body polls has resulted in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled Gujarat government doling out incentives for farmers. On Wednesday the state government declared a bonus of Rs 110 per 20 kg for cotton farmers over and above the minimum support price (MSP). This bonus will be given to the farmers who sell their crop to the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI).

Making the announcement, state health minister and Gujarat government spokesperson Nitin Patel said, "To provide better returns to cotton farmers, Gujarat government has decided to give Rs 110 per 20 kg bonus on MSP. This bonus scheme will be applicable from December 18, on cotton procured by CCI from the state."

Union Government had fixed MSP of Rs 810 per 20 kg for the current kharif season. With the additional financial support by the state government, farmers will get Rs 920 per 20 kg. However, raw cotton prices are already ruling at Rs 925-930 per 20 kg.

According to Patel, in this year total sowing of cotton was done on an area of 2.76 million hectares while production is likely to be around 8.5-9 million bales.

Considering the farmers benefit, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel had formed a committee of four state ministers including Health Minister Nitin Patel, Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Finance Minister Saurabh Patel and Agriculture Minister Babu Bokhiriya.

The committee had spoken to Kisan Sangh, state officials, farmers and APMC officials over the MSP issue and had submitted a report to the chief minister.

"Farmers have to submit their bill from CCI and APMC receipt to get bonus. The amount will be paid by the agriculture market board," said Nitin Patel.

According to trade sources, CCI has so far procured about 5,000 bales of cotton from Gujarat.

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