Shiv Sena leader and farm activist Kishore Tiwari on Wednesday said his party would launch an agitation if the government fails to start cotton procurement centres before Diwali.
He also said that the government should give an assurance that the Cotton Crop of India (CCI) would buy cotton at Rs 5,500 per quintal, which is a guaranteed price.
“Arrival of cotton in kharif season in Maharashtra has already begun and the retailers are purchasing it at Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 per quintal from debt-ridden farmers, even as the guaranteed price of cotton as declared by the government is Rs 5,500 per quintal,” Tiwari said in a release.
“The brokers have started purchasing cotton below the MSP…Therefore, I urge the central government to start cotton procurement centers before Diwali and if the CCI fails to start buying cotton immediately at its collection centres in the state, thenthe Shiv Sena will launch an agitation,” he added.
The past four to five years had been tough for cotton growers, he said, adding that in the recent times, the crisis of pink boll worms had devastated cotton farmers.