After all toil & sweat, cotton farmers forced to shed tears

After all toil & sweat, cotton farmers forced to shed tears
Highlights

Previous season, farmers harvested seven to eight quintals of cotton for an acre. However, this season due to unfavourable climatic conditions and untimely rains, the yield was reduced to three to four quintals for one acre. And there was no scope of third and fourth crop of cotton for the farmers this season.

Khammam: The cotton farmers in the district, despite reaping rich harvests, are falling prey to the cheap tricks of traders and officials. At the Khammam Market Yard, the cotton farmers are forced to sell their produce much below the Minimum Support Price. In Khammam, nearly 2,67,663 farmers and in Bhadradri Kothagudem district about 1,33,078 farmers have cultivated various crops this year. Among them, majority of the farmers took up cotton crop this Kharif season. When compared to other crops, this year the cotton cultivation is recorded as 73 per cent in the district.

Previous season, farmers harvested seven to eight quintals of cotton for an acre. However, this season due to unfavourable climatic conditions and untimely rains, the yield was reduced to three to four quintals for one acre. And there was no scope of third and fourth crop of cotton for the farmers this season.

Several farmers in the district alleged that traders, middlemen and commission agents along with officials were increasing the price of the agricultural products and were luring them to bring their produce to the market. However, after bringing their produce to the market the traders were decreasing the price enormously and were cheating them.

Since last week, farmers from Khammam and Bhadradri Kothagudem districts along with farmers from neighbouring districts like Warangal, Nalgonda, Suryapet and Mahabubabad district were bringing cotton to Khammam Agricultural market. But the market officials were rejecting the cotton and laying several conditions before buying the produce for less than the support price.

At present the maximum price given by the traders for one quintal of cotton is Rs 5,300 and minimum price is Rs 3,000. However, in Khammam Agricultural Market the Minimum Support Price for one quintal of cotton crop is Rs 4,160 depending on the quality and moisture.The farmers at the market yard alleged that traders in connivance with officials and middlemen were not even paying the Minimum Support Price for their produce and decreasing the rates further drastically.

They alleged that middlemen and traders were earning crores of rupees by cheating the innocent farmers. They demanded the government to take immediate actions against the market yard officials and to keep check on the traders and tender justice to them.

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