With farmers completing the third round of picking in several parts of Telangana, total output is pegged at 50 lakh quintals as against the targeted 3.5 crore quintals.

Unfavourable weather conditions and pink bollworm attacks resulted in extensive crop damage in the State. Dry spells in the initial stages of the kharif season, too, led to stunted growth of bolls.

About 20 lakh farmers grew cotton on about 44-45 lakh acres this kharif as against the normal area of 41 lakh acres. In a normal season, farmers get an average yield of 8-10 quintals an acre.

This time, however, yields halved due to the pink bollworm menace, which set in early in the season in some areas.

Farmers have alleged that the Cotton Corporation of India has not procured enough, forcing them to sell to private operators. While private traders purchased 45 lakh quintals, CCI has bought only 7 lakh quintals so far.

“Poor buying by the CCI forced farmers to sell to private traders at a lower price, leaving them in losses,” said S Malla Reddy, VP, All-India Kisan Sabha.