Distressed over poor price, cotton farmers burn harvest

Distressed over poor price, cotton farmers burn harvest
Highlights

Distressed at lack of profitable price and loss of yield, cotton farmers across erstwhile Warangal district are either destroying standing crops or committing suicide. The government fixed support price for cotton at Rs 4,320 per quintal, majority of farmers are getting only Rs 1,500 to 2,000 per quintal as the traders are rejecting to pay the support price because the produce is damaged.

Hanamkonda: Distressed at lack of profitable price and loss of yield, cotton farmers across erstwhile Warangal district are either destroying standing crops or committing suicide.

The government fixed support price for cotton at Rs 4,320 per quintal, majority of farmers are getting only Rs 1,500 to 2,000 per quintal as the traders are rejecting to pay the support price because the produce is damaged.

The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) which is supposed to come to the rescue of the farmers by purchasing the produce has remained inactive and not seen engaged in procurement, the farmers are alleging.

With the commencement of arrival of cotton at Enumamula Agriculture Market the CCI has purchased just 23 quintals on Monday and after that there is no procurement by it. Though the support price is Rs 4,320 the price offered by the Corporation is Rs 4,190 per quintal.

The price is being offered by the traders at the market is much worse. “With the CCI absence the traders are exploiting us. I have brought 25 bags of produce. The price the traders offered me is only Rs 2,200 per quintal” lamented a farmer called Bhukya Ram Naik of Narsampet.

The prices offered to cotton are varying between Rs 1,500 to 3,500 and very few farmers are offered price above Rs 4,000 and it is a rare case. The reason the traders giving for the low prices is poor quality and high moisture content. But they are doing the same with good quality cotton as well, he noted.

The market high grade secretary V Srinivas maintained that in all CCI 18 procurement centres have been set up across erstwhile Warangal district. In addition to that the procurement is also being made by 58 technically qualified ginning mills.

The CCI is ready to offer the support price even as the moisture content is above the prescribed limit of 8 to 12 per cent, provided the produce is not discoloured and is of good quality, he added. But sadly, such cotton produce in this season has become a rarity.

There is no information to the farmers about such CCI centres. The CCI and the market officials failed to campaign about procurement centres, complained a farmer K Narsaiah of Parkal and the same is the complaint of many others.

Meanwhile, farmers are destroying standing crops as hopes of gainful yield dashed due to worms and inclement weather. “If I try to sell the produce I may not even recover the labour charges” said a farmer Mandati Indraiah of Kothapet near Warangal, who destroyed cotton crop on his three acres leased land.

On the other hand, the news of suicides by cotton farmers is becoming a regular phenomenon. On Wednesday cotton farmer called Banoth Krishna committed suicide at Pilliguntla thanda of Thorrur mandal in Mahbubabad district as the crop sown in five acres of land is fully damaged. Incidents like this may become rampant, feared farmer leader K Rajeshwar Rao.

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