Telangana CM urge farmers to stay away from growing cotton for the year

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-04-26 12:00:00 – Hyderabad

The Telangana CM K Chandrasekhara Rao has urged the farmers not to grow cotton but sow an alternative crop this kharif season despite hostile weather conditions, as poor forecast for international prices and resistance developed by pink bollworm to Bollgard II, the cottonseed industry expects an average year with projected sales of 4.40 crore packets (of 450 gm each) in the ensuing kharif season.

Keeping in mind the number of farmers committing suicide who grew cotton last year, TS government has decided to start a full length campaign to reduce the area under cotton cultivation in the state.

The Chief Minister will discuss this issue at the District Collectors’ conference that will be held on April 29 in Hyderabad. To protect the cotton farmers from market risks, the Telangana government has decided to alert them about the global economic crisis. The CM has asked the Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy to direct his officials to prepare an action plan to safeguard the cotton farmers.

During the conference, the government may come up with measures to assist the cotton farmers. There has been a continuous dip in cotton prices for the last three years and the farmers need to be educated about price fluctuations and alternate ways of making use of their land. The Chief Minister intends to stop them in sowing cotton seeds immediately to prevent huge financial losses and save their lives.

According to the government, farmers are investing heavily on cotton crop but have not been earning good returns. The Union government had also signed an agreement at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting held in Nairobi to remove incentives on cotton exports.

Though Telangana is one of the top cotton growing states in the country, cotton farmers have been facing continuous losses in the last three years due to failed monsoons. The resistance of Pink bollworm towards the Boggard II technology is another major threat to the cotton farmers this year, experts revealed.

However, with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao asked the farmers to stay away from the fibre for the year to save themselves from a bearish market. This would have an impact on the overall cottonseed sales in the country.

With 22 lakh hectares under the fibre, the State is among the top cotton-growing States in the country, consuming about a quarter of the 4.30 crore packets the industry sold last year.

But even if 20-30 percent people quit cotton, it would mean a lot. It will bring down pressure on natural resources. They are going to discuss this in detail during the District Collectors’ meet this week.

In fact, the cotton farmers in the State, like their peers in Maharashtra, are under severe financial pressure as the monsoon failed for the third consecutive year.

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