Cotton prices gain momentum
At last, and after a long wait, the unexpected increase in the market value has brought cheer among the cotton farmers. Farmers who had gone ahead with cotton cultivation despite warnings about virus attacks are reaping rich dividends this year.
windfall for cultivators
Pitapuram: At last, and after a long wait, the unexpected increase in the market value has brought cheer among the cotton farmers. Farmers who had gone ahead with cotton cultivation despite warnings about virus attacks are reaping rich dividends this year. The price of cotton per quintal which was Rs.3,000-3,500 last year has now escalated to Rs 5,100.
Cotton is the only commercial crop cultivated in dry lands. Generally, it is cultivated in Gollaprolu, Kirlampudi, Thuni, Kotananduru, Gandepally, Rangampeta and other agency mandals. With decline in prices of cotton last year and the influence of Pink bollworm, the area of cultivation has reduced to 10 hectares from 25 hectares in the district. In Gollaprolu mandal alone, the area for cotton cultivation decreased to 900 hectares from 1700 hectares last year. Government did not encourage cotton cultivation with a view to eradicate the virus.
Cotton crop yield also has gone up in the current year to 15 quintals per hectare. Farmers went ahead with cultivation of cotton despite agricultural officials advising them not to go for this crop and got good yield and that too without any virus attack. Many purchasing centers have come up with Gollaprolu as the hub. Middlemen are purchasing cotton in bulk and transporting it to Kolkata and Mumbai.
Cotton is fetching between Rs. 5,100-5,400 per quintal in the open markets while it is priced much lower at Rs.4100 at the Pithapuram agricultural market committee purchase centers. Farmers are earning around Rs.5,400 in the open market by selling it to retailers. Traders attribute increase in price to the reduction in the area of cotton cultivation in the entire state.
According to Padmasri, Assistant Director of Agriculture, Pithapuram, the pink mammoth attack had resulted in losses last year. “However, the farmers retained more profits this year by eradicating the virus under the guidance provided by the agricultural officials at the right time,” he said.
By Saride Nageshwar Rao