Indian cotton industry

Textile hubs to be set up in cotton belt to tackle farmer suicides in Maharashtra

GMT 17:24 2015 Monday ,17 August

Sriyadithatextile - Textile hubs to be set up in cotton belt to tackle farmer suicides in Maharashtra

Textile industry
Courtesy Google

The Maharashtra state government has taken the decision to expand the textile hub policy to nine districts across the state to override the farmers suicides in cotton growing belt.

The decision to accord textile industry second most important status after agriculture has been taken by the state government considering the massive unrest amongst the farmers in drought-hit region of Vidarbha, Marathwada and some parts of northern Maharashtra.

The districts which have been shortlisted for developing into textile hubs are Yavatmal, Buldhana, Amravati, Jalna, Parbhani, Nanded, Aurangabad, Beed and Jalgaon.

To begin with the decision was taken to set up a textile park at Amravati on a sprawling 100 acres of land.

The projects which will be undertaken through the public and private partnership is aimed at creating a textile township which would have provisions for multiple activities from processing to marketing within the hub.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has given instructions to expedite the projects and urged the Maharashtra State Textile Corporation and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation to coordinate. He has urged the authorities to streamline the details like land, power supply, water and other related aspects which are integral for the textile hubs.

According to Fadnavis, “Today, if we have to usher economic well being for farmers in cotton belt, we have to promote industries. Significantly, we have to link the farm product with the industrial activities which would not only ensure sustainable market but also will generate new avenues of employment for the coming generations.”

“The agro-sector cannot sustain the livelihood of 60 per cent of the population specially in areas where cotton is grown. One crop failure wrecks the lives of farmers who have no other means to generate money,” he added.

Apart from the addressing the agro-crisis in the cotton belt, Fadnavis believes, “Textile sector has lacked proper planning. What is the use of allowing a spinning mill in distant western Maharashtra where cotton transport from Vidarbha would incur massive expenditure. Instead, why not have a spinning and processing units in areas where cotton is grown. It would benefit both farmers and industrial units.”

Interestingly, Vidarbha which is the epicentre of farmers suicides accounts for more than 35 to 40 per cent of the cotton cultivated in the country. However, for the last six decades Vidarbha has been facing complaints about lack of industries which would be able to support cotton cultivators. The spinning mills along with annual subsidies were extended to individuals or trust who managed better in western Maharashtra and north Maharashtra compared to Vidarbha.
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