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Kasturi Cotton may help CCI increase exports, as Centre’s MSP procurement expected to increase

PUNE: Kasturi, the first national brand of Indian cotton, can fetch at least a 5% price premium, industry experts said. With private trade not willing to buy cotton at the minimum support price, the government agency Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has to step in as the biggest buyer, accounting for a third of the national output.

And cotton branding is expected to help CCI increase exports.

“Creating a brand of Indian cotton was a long pending requirement of the trade. Leading cotton exporting countries of the world, like Egypt and the US, have their own cotton brands. The fine parameters of the Kasturi brand will help Indian cotton realise at least 5% more value than the prevailing market price,” said Atul Ganatra, prescient, Cotton Association of India.

T Rajakumar, chairman of trade association CITI, said: “Indian exporters at present do not get better prices on the cotton products due to poor quality of cotton fibre and contaminated cotton”.

The government has promised to double the income of farmers and it has also promised that irrespective of the reforms in farm laws, the government will not abdicate MSP procurement.

“This means that the CCI’s cotton procurement is going to keep on increasing until the next Lok Sabha elections in 2024. Branding will help CCI help increase exports,” said a trader who did not want to be named.

However, a section of traders and ginners are sceptical that the cotton consuming spinning mills, which prefer to import fine grade cotton to meet their export commitments of fabric and garments, may not be willing to pay the premium for Kasturi cotton. Earlier, government attempts at branding have not succeeded much in the country, with only the Sankar-6 brand of cotton created by private trade from Gujarat gaining popularity in international trade.

Ginners from north Maharashtra had launched their own brand Mahacot in 2012 to counter the Sankar-6 brand of Gujarat.

“We had registered the Mahacot brand, which helped create awareness among ginners, helped them realise better prices and reduce disputes regarding the quality of cotton,” said Pradeep Jain, president, Khandesh Ginners Association. “But as we were not charging the ginners for using the brand name, it could not attain the identity of brand as accepted internationally.”



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