The Maharashtra government has declared 115 tehsils as ‘cotton growing’ areas in the state, a decision aimed at boosting the textile industry, an official said on Thursday.
This will bring a focused attention on cotton cultivation and issues like the crop’s growth, supply and processing, the government official said.
The state government announced earlier this week that 115 tehsils in 18 districts of Marathwada, North Maharashtra and Vidarbha regions have been identified as cotton growing areas.
“Following the identification of tehsils, the state will collect data on how much cotton is produced and locally used by textile units. If less than 50 per cent of cotton produced in a tehsil is locally used, the government will promote setting up a textile unit there,” the official said.
“This will benefit farmers, who would get a local buyer for their cotton produce. The cost of transportation will also be less as most of the cotton required by the textile unit would be available locally,” he said.
An average textile mill needs around 4,896 tonne of cotton per annum to sustain itself. This means a textile mill can be set up in a tehsil where around 9,600 tonne of cotton is produced in a year, the official said.
At present, the state’s textile mills are not located in areas where cotton is grown. In such a situation, traders reap more benefits as farmers are unaware of buyers’ demands, he said.
Traders buy cotton at a lower price but sell it at a higher rate to the mill, the official pointed out.
The cotton growing tehsils have been identified in Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani, Hingoli, Nanded, Beed, Buldhana, Amravati, Nagpur, Akola, Yavatmal, Wardha, Chandrapur, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon and Ahmednagar districts of the state, he added.