Export Express: Odisha Cotton Rides A Train To Bangladesh

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has started exporting cotton to Bangladesh via the rail route, for the first time. Earlier, cotton bales from the state were carried across the Indo-Bangla border via road.

But everyone is happier with the new arrangement, be it the farmers, the exporters or the government trade agencies.

For cotton growers in Odisha, this translated into greater demand by the Cotton Corporation of India (CII). According to reports, the agency has procured 2471.5 MT (metric tonne) of cotton from farmers in Odisha.

These were transported from Junagarh station in Kalahandi district to Benapole in Bangladesh on Wednesday, according to a report in The Times of India. The bales were packed into 42 wagons and sent to the neighbouring country via Kolkata.

The Railway administration is also pleased with the arrangement. “Transportation of cotton products by train is not only economically beneficial but safer and faster as well,” said an East Coast Railway (ECoR) official.

Traders echoed that export by rail was beneficial to them. “Transporting cotton bales by rail saves time and money compared to sending them by road,” said a Kolkata-based exporter who has purchased cotton for his clients in Bangladesh.

In Odisha, cotton is cultivated in the districts of Kalahandi, Balangir, Rayagada, Nuapada, Sonepur, Bargarh Gajapati, Ganjam, Koraput, Boudh and Kandhamal.

According to government sources, cotton cultivation in the state has been steadily rising since 2016-17.

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