Maharashtra government recently declared 115 tehsils, or administrative zones, in 18 districts of Marathwada, North Maharashtra and Vidarbha regions as ‘cotton growing’ areas to boost the textile industry. This will focus attention on cotton cultivation and issues related to the crop’s growth, supply and processing and reduce traders’ margins.
Maharashtra will collect data on how much cotton is produced and locally used by textile units and if less than 50 per cent of cotton produced in a tehsil is locally used, the government will try to set up a textile unit there. At present, the State’s textile mills are not located in areas where cotton is grown resulting in traders reaping more benefits than farmers by buying cotton at a lower price and selling it at a margin to mills.
The districts where the tehsils have been identified are Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani, Hingoli, Nanded, Beed, Buldhana, Amravati, Nagpur, Akola, Yavatmal, Wardha, Chandrapur, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon and Ahmednagar.