Rao Against Growing Cotton

Rao Against Growing Cotton

The Telangana chief minister, K Chandrasekhara Rao has urged the farmers not to grow cotton but sow an alternative crop this kharif season despite hostile weather conditions, as poor forecast for international prices and resistance developed by pink bollworm to Bollgard II, the cottonseed industry expects an average year with projected sales of 4.40 crore packets (of 450 gm each) in the ensuing kharif season.

Keeping in mind the number of farmers committing suicide who grew cotton last year, the Telangana government has decided to start a campaign to reduce the area under cotton cultivation in the state.

The chief minister will discuss this issue at the district collectors’ conference that will be held on April 29 in Hyderabad. To protect the cotton farmers from market risks, the Telangana government has decided to alert them about the global economic crisis. He has asked the agriculture minister PocharamSrinivas Reddy to direct his officials to prepare an action plan to safeguard the cotton farmers.

During the conference, the government may come up with measures to assist the cotton farmers. There has been a continuous dip in cotton prices for the last three years and the farmers need to be educated about price fluctuations and alternate ways of making use of their land. Rao intends to stop them in sowing cotton seeds immediately to prevent huge financial losses and save their lives.

According to the government, farmers are investing heavily on cotton crop but have not been earning good returns. The centre had also signed an agreement at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting held in Nairobi to remove incentives on cotton exports.

Though Telangana is one of the top cotton growing states in the country, cotton farmers have been facing continuous losses in the last three years due to failed monsoons. The resistance of Pink bollworm towards the Boggard II technology is another major threat to the cotton farmers this year, experts revealed.