Agri Business

Heavy rains dash Telangana farmers’ cotton hopes

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on October 30, 2019 Published on October 30, 2019

Cotton output was expected to be around 45-50 lakh bales. File Photo   -  The Hindu

With higher moisture content, cotton sold at the markets at a very lesser

Though a late monsoon delayed rains and sowings, Telangana farmers sowed cotton in a record 46-47 lakh acres as subsequent rains gave them a big hope for a bumper crop. The fibre output was expected to be around 45-50 lakh bales as against 36-40 lakh bales in a normal year. But incessant rains in the last five-six weeks have dashed their hopes.

Attracted by a good price of ₹5,550 a quintal (for long staple) and. Rs 5,450 (medium staple), farmers touched the 2017-18 peak of 46.85 lakh acres, more than half of the total kharif area.

As the plants are soaked due to the rainfall, farmers now fear a rout of the crop this season, barring in a few areas that witnessed relatively lesser rainfall. “In most parts of Telangana, cotton farmers witnessed daily rainfall. Farmers could reap only 10-20 per cent of the yield in most parts of the State in the first pick, which is supposed to yield about 8-10 lakh bales,” Sarampally Malla Reddy of Telangana Rythu Sangham said.

More bad news is in store for the farmers if the rains continue. “If there are no rains in November, they could salvage at least the second and most crucial of the three pickings in a cotton season,” he says.

As a result of heavy and continuous rains, cotton bolls, including the the ones already picked were drenched. With higher moisture content, they were fetched for very poor rates in the markets. Farmers allege that the traders took advantage and reduced the price.

As cotton arrivals have begun at the markets, farmers are getting ₹3,000-3,500 as against the recommended rate of ₹5,500 a quintal. “The second sowing resulted in doubling of the investment to about ₹40,000 an acre. In a normal year, they should get 15 quintal. But if weather improves, they will get not more than 5-8 quintal in the remainder of the season. If they are able to get it, they will still end up in losses as they have to sell it for far less than the rates announced by the Government,” Malla Reddy said.

Published on October 30, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor