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Odishatv Bureau

Berhampur: The Odisha government has allowed the Ganjam district administration to start cotton procurement from December 15. The district administration has asked the regulated market committee (RMC), Digapahandi to make all arrangements for the opening of the mandi, the lone cotton procurement centre in the district.

The administration has also asked officials to create awareness among the farmers to sale their cotton produce at the government-run mandi instead of selling cotton to the private traders from Andhra Pradesh, said district collector Vijay Amruta Kulange.

Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) will purchase all cotton of farmers from the mandi and supply it to different spinning mills across the country after processing.

"Last year, the RMC Digapahandi had procured 4,883 quintals of the cotton in its mandi. This year, we expect procurement of over 5,000 quintal of cotton from the farmers", said secretary, RMC Digapahandi, Arun Mishra.

He said after procurement, the CCI would process the cotton in the ginning mill, that is being set up by the RMC Digapahandi. The 50-quintal processing per day ginning mill is under construction and expected to start functioning from January 26, he said.

The Collector has also instructed officials to expedite the work to start the operation of the ginning mill from January 26 in a recent review meeting held on cotton procurement. The ginning mill is being set up with an investment of around Rs 2.20 crore.

District's cotton specialist PK Swain said in the last year over 6,900 quintals of cotton was produced in the state, while the cotton cultivation was undertaken in around 858 hectares of the land.

This time, the farmers are expected to produce over 8,400 quintals of the cotton, even though the cotton areas reduced to 557 hectares. The rain during the harvest season had damaged the cotton crops last year, he said, adding that this time it was expected a high yield due to the favourable climate.

The cotton is generally grown in five blocks in the districts, which includes Patrapur, Sanakhemundi, Sorada, Digapahandi and Sheragad. District collector asked the agriculture officials to expand the cotton-growing areas in the district, as it is a cash crop. He also said they have planned to set up another ginning mill at RMC, Hinjili.

(With PTI Inputs)

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