Cotton farmers in Telangana are demanding a price of Rs 7,000 a quintal. They feel the MSP of Rs 4,320 for the year is not remunerative. They also want the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to open more procurement centers.
A large number of farmers switched to cotton this time as prices of paddy, turmeric, mirchi and red gram fell sharply last year. If farmers get a price lower than that, they expect to be compensated for the difference. The state sowed a record acreage of 46 lakh acres for the fiber crop this year. After witnessing dismal returns in crops such as chillies, turmeric and red gram, farmers returned to cotton in a big way. As against the suggested price of Rs 4,000, a significant number of farmers got Rs 5,000, resulting in an additional acreage of over 10 lakh acres this time.
Though procurement generally takes off after Diwali, some markets have already recorded arrivals of the commodity. The prices being offered are not very encouraging. Farmers in Telangana reduced the cotton acreage in the previous year and went for red gram, whose acreage went up to 11 lakh acres from the normal area of six lakh acres.