Direct Procurement Of Cotton Sought By Farmers

Direct Procurement Of Cotton Sought By FarmersThough cotton production witnessed an increasing trend following good rainfall, the market price is not up to the desired level. Hence, the affected cotton farmers have sought the intervention of the administration to ensure a better price.

District secretary, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, K.P. Perumal suggested that the Cotton Corporation of India could procure cotton directly from farmers to offset the price decline. Now, one quintal of cotton was sold at prices ranging from Rs. 2,800 to Rs.3,200. It did not even meet expenditure incurred on cultivation of cotton that was raised mostly in Kovilpatti block.

Though cotton production in the region had gone up by 60 per cent over last year, the prices were disappointing. With assured irrigation, average yield per acre is seven to ten quintals and in rainfed cultivation it is three or four quintals. The average expenditure incurred on cultivation per acre is between Rs.10,000 and Rs.15,000, the affected farmer said. Unlike other crops, cotton cultivation is labour intensive. One acre of cotton picking costs Rs. 1,200.

Despite rising cost of fertilizer, pesticide, transportation, electricity and labour, cotton farmers could not even enjoy a marginal profit. Mr. Perumal wanted the government to fix minimum support price for cotton. Joint Director of Agriculture, N.K. Dhakshinamoorthy said that the area under cotton had increased to 6,700 hectare in 2014 against 5000 hectare in 2013.

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