Cotton farmers have demanded a minimum support price (MSP) of ₹12,000 a quintal during the current season, saying the cost of production has increased significantly, while yields have dropped.

In Telangana, cotton growers claim the cost of production is ₹8,000 a quintal due to an increase in the usage of pesticides and labour costs.

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“Yields have come down significantly. We are getting only about 4-5 quintals an acre. The present MSP of ₹6,080 is not sufficient for farmers to meet the cost of production,” S Malla Reddy, Vice-President of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), told businessline.

Demanding the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to purchase the produce at ₹12,000 a quintal, farmers’ unions have decided to organise protests in front of the offices of Mandal Revenue Officers in Telangana on October 29, 30 and 31.

Weather damage

“Due to heavy rains this season, cotton crop on lakhs of acres was damaged. We are expecting lower production this year. We are demanding the CCI to purchase the commodity at ₹12,000 a quintal,” Bonthu Rambabu, a senior leader of Telangana Rythu Sangham, said.

Farmers in the State have brought 20.25 lakh hectares (lh) under the cotton crop this year , up a tad only despite record prices last year. Though it is higher than the 18.60 lh last year, it is way lower the government’s target of 28.30 lh. A good number of them shifted to paddy, which, despite the procurement challenges, promised good returns.