Hyderabad: Thanks to timely supply of seeds and fertilizers besides good monsoon, farmers in the State are growing cotton in 50 per cent of total cultivable area during kharif and around three crore quintals of produce is ready to hit the market.
Officials have already collected data of cotton cultivation and expected yield, and are making elaborate arrangements well in advance to ensure every cotton farmer gets minimum support price (MSP).
According to Marketing Department officials, for the first time in the history of Telangana around three crore quintals of cotton produce would reach purchasing centres starting from September end.
Last year, farmers did not show interest to sow cotton seeds, but the market rate touched Rs 10,000 per quintal. This kharif, the farmers grew cotton in 46.52 lakh acres, which is almost 50 per cent of total crop area.
Based on the directions of Marketing Minister T Harish Rao, the department officials collected data of village, mandal and district-wise estimated yield and submitted the report to the Minister. Based on the report, the Minister asked all district Collectors, Agriculture and Marketing department officials to make arrangements at Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) procurement centres well before the produce reaches the markets to avoid last minute rush.
The present 84 CCI centres are not enough to purchase cotton yield and the government is trying to get 59 more CCI centres besides considering ginning mills as cotton purchase centres.
During chili yield in April, farmers in the State faced hardships due to fall in price and were forced to wait two to three days in the market yards to sell their produce. This time, the Marketing and Agriculture departments wanted farmers to sell their crop within hours. “We have already collected data of every cotton farmer and submitted details to procurement centres, including their bank account details, Aadhaar number. mobile number, to avoid delay in purchase and payment,” C Partha Sarathi, Commissioner for Agriculture, told Telangana Today.
He said the Quick Response (QR) ID cards will help both farmers and CCI to settle the accounts immediately.
Action against spurious seeds
The State government took strong measures, including enforcing PD Act against the spurious seed suppliers, which helped in increasing the produce.
Earlier, cotton farmers staged protests after they were duped with spurious seeds. But this time, no such cases were reported in the State as the farmers were supplied with genuine variety of BT cotton due to which the yield was above normal.
Earlier, the CCI centres functioned only two to three days a week. But, the Marketing Department wanted all the centres to function on all working days in a week to prevent congestion.
Publicity and awareness
Agriculture Department prepared brochures, posters and pamphlets duly indicating the FAQ parameters to create awareness among the farmers to bring the cotton in loose form to the procurement centres and also to discourage them from selling the cotton in villages to ensure MSP. The publicity material included publication of number of centres in each district
Government proposed to constitute district and State level committees for supervision of MSP operations till the end of the season