Cotton price reduced, farmers in debt trap

Heavy rains in Oct. damaged crops; staple size less than normal

The unprecedented rains in October this year adversely impacted cotton cultivation. Not only was the crop damaged but the staple size got reduced, thereby forcing officials to reduce the price promised to farmers.

The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has been offering ₹5,825 per quintal if Bunny Brahma Mode staple size is between 29.5 and 30.5 mm. However, due to heavy rains, the staple size remained below 29.5 mm, the standard size preferred by officials.

And as majority of farmers produced cotton with staple size less than 29.5 mm, the officials have written to higher authorities for an offer price of ₹5,775 per quintal, a cut of ₹50.

Cotton is being procured at ₹5,825 per quintal for 8% moisture followed by reducing it by ₹57.75 for each percentage of more moisture content from 9 to 12%. Officials will not purchase cotton if the produce has more than 12% moisture. Farmers are being advised to dry the cotton before bringing it to ginning mills or procurement centres.

“Due to the rains, we are getting incomplete cotton balls and yellow coloured cotton, which are being rejected, but otherwise the CCI officials are liberally accepting cotton as the farmers had already incurred huge losses. Now, the cotton grown has become normal and the moisture content has been reduced,” said K. Amaralingeswara Rao, a marketing official.

However, some farmers said that their produce was not being taken immediately and they are being forced to wait for several hours.

In some cases, traders, who had already invested in the cotton crop in the form of seed, fertilizers and pesticides, are offering less price to farmers.

“Those who need money immediately, are selling cotton at a low price. As a result, several farmers are in debt trap,” said T. Prauthvi Raj, president, Manjeera Rythu Sangham.

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