India - Cotton farmers face huge losses

31.01.2023 115 views

The cotton farmers across Palamuru region are in a lurch as they are not able to get the minimum support price for their produce as the market prices are dwindling downwards leading to heavy losses to the farmers as they are not able to get back their investment on the crop.

While earlier last year, the cotton prices crossed more than Rs 9,000 to 10,000 per quintal and gave good profits for the cotton farmers in the region, however this year the prices of cotton are dwindling in between Rs 6,000 to 8,000 per quintal. Hoping that the cotton crop will yield them good profits similar to last year, many farmers had invested hugely and yielded good crop this year. But to their disappointment, the Cotton prices are moving downward trend and because of which the farmers are in state of shock and have stocked their produce in their houses, and waiting for the market price to hike, however, with spread of Covid pandemic in China, the exports of Indian cotton have stalled and this has led traders to stop the purchase at higher prices and it has directly impacted on the cotton farmers, observed market analysts.

Bheema Nayak, a cotton farmer from Vollur village of Jadcherla mandal says that last year he had sold his cotton for Rs 9,900 per quintal, but this year he had give away his produce just for Rs 7,900 per quintal. "This year, I had sown cotton over 4 acres and yielded only 17-18 quintals as against last year's 20 quintals. I had incurred a cost of more than Rs 30,000 per acre on the crop, but after selling the crop, I could not even get back my returns on the investment. After selling my crop I hardly got around Rs 1.20 lakhs in my hand, which is almost equal to my investment. I had to face a huge loss, as the interest on my debts have crossed more than Rs 20,000," poured his woes, Bheema Nayak.

Another farmer Amgoth Venkatesh, from Shankarayapally village of Mahabubnagar district, who had sown cotton on 6 acres, though had reaped a bumper crop this season and yielded nearly 30 quintals of cotton, is reluctant to sell his crop as the market prices are very low. He is adopting a wait and watch situation and has stocked his cotton at his home. He had incurred an investment of over 2 lakh on the crop and is expecting good returns only if the market price of cotton cross over Rs 10,000 per quintal.

Yadagir, a member of Jadcherla Market Committee says that in the beginning cotton was procured for more than Rs 8,600 and above per quintal, but with the fear of Covid spreading in China and elsewhere where the Indian cotton was exported, there the markets have been completely closed and cotton purchase by traders has been slowed down. The domestic traders are reluctant to pay higher prices and because of this, the cotton farmers are not able to get good prices for their produce. However, he expressed optimism that the cotton prices may go up once the hurdles of export are cleared and once again the cotton farmers may get good prices for their yields.

But again, it is also alleged that some traders have become syndicate and buying the cotton from farmers at lower prices and stocking with them, so that they can sell it off at higher prices at later stage.

Overall, the cotton farmers in Mahabubnagar are reeling under heavy pressure because if they sell it at the current prices, they will not get their returns, and if they stock it for some more time looking out at good price in the future, the interests on their debts is increasing and incurring losses. Because of this many are forced to sell off their cotton produce at lower prices and facing huge losses.

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