After a lull due to heavy rains, and dampened produce disheartening farmers, cotton arrivals have picked up momentum in market yards in Telangana.

Market sources said that while the quantity of arrivals is lower than last year’s, it is better than what was expected two weeks ago. But farmers are not happy as prices have dropped to about ₹3,000-3,500 a quintal as against the MSP of ₹5,550.

Fall in prices

With markets quoting prices far lower than the minimum support price (MSP), cotton farmers in Telangana held protests at all major marketyards on Monday.

They asked the State government to take measures to ensure payment of MSP rates for cotton. The Telangana Rythu Sangham alleges that the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) is not buying enough, leaving the space to private players.

“Farmers are being paid very less. They are getting a price in the range of ₹2,300-4,900. Most are being paid ₹3,000-3,500,” said T Sagar, General Secretary, Telangana Rythu Sangham.

Citing an example, he said the Enumamula marketyard has received about 3 lakh quintals of cotton so far. “But the CCI has procured just under 400 quintals. This is forcing the farmers to sell the produce to private traders and middlemen, who are paying them very low rates, but making money by selling it at higher rates,” he said.

Farmers in the State grew cotton on a record 46 lakh acres as against the average of about 40-41 lakh acres.

Crop damage

A delayed monsoon and relentless rains for about six weeks in August and September damaged the crop.

“The plants grew very tall due to rains, stunting the boll growth. This adversely impacted the output in the first pick,” Narayana, a farmer from Nalgonda district, said.