“The benefits of the Maharashtra Textile Policy will not benefit the cotton farming community in the state”, so said a leader of a Maharashtra farmers organisation.
It may be recalled that the Maharashtra government had recently announced a Textile Policy to ensure that cotton grown in the state is processed in the state itself, in order to abet the rising stem of cotton farmer’s suicides.
Speaking exclusively to fibre2fashion, Mr Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) said, “While welcoming the Textile Policy which will help generate employment in rural areas, the benefits of the policy will not reach cotton farmers, for whom the policy was actually formulated”.
He adds, “Value-addition of cotton is a good idea. However, the benefits will not touch cotton farmers as even under the current circumstances, they do not have problems in selling cotton, whether to domestic buyers or to those exporting from India”.
“The benefits of value-addition achieved by converting cotton to yarn, fabrics and finally apparel will not percolate to the cotton farmers. It will stay with the industrialists who have set up the textile units.
“In order that cotton farmers gain from the Textile Policy, ownership for the cotton farmers has to be created in the units coming up under the Textile Policy. Otherwise, only those who set up units will get benefit of incentives announced in the policy.
“Ownership can be created by setting up cooperatives mills. However, nearly all the cooperatives textile mills set up in Maharashtra have folded up due to mismanagement”, he wound up by saying.
The Maharashtra Textile Minister had recently organised a road show in the neighbouring state of Gujarat to showcase its Textile Policy and attract investments into the state from entrepreneurs of Gujarat.
Speaking about the government policy on cotton exports, Mr Tiwari, explains, “The government should not do a flip-flop on cotton exports policy. I urge the government to keep cotton under open general license and not buckle under pressure from textile mills”