By admin       2017-07-17

Farmers are shifting to cultivating cotton during the Kharif season this year, raising concerns that there would be a drop in production of foodgrains. Cotton covers 14 lakh hectares of the 22 lakh hectares sown this season. The state is already facing a severe shortage of vegetables which has resulted in a escalation of prices. The government is worried that foodgrain prices could go up as well. Agriculture secretary C.Parthasarathi said, “The preliminary findings on crop sowing patterns indicate that there has been steep increase in the sowing of cotton. Farmers are shifting from traditional crops to cotton.” Last year, most farmers opted for pulses, chilli and soya but suffered huge losses after the drastic fall in prices due to over-production. A small section of farmers who opted for cotton got good returns due to lower production. Seeing this, there is a rush among farmers towards cotton. Offici-als are worried that if this trend continues, huge stocks of cotton will start reaching the markets from Novem-ber which will lead to a crash in prices. The marketing department has initiated measures to increase cotton procurement centres, anticipating trouble in case all farmers gather at a few market yards and the price crashes; in this, the government s being wiser after the violence at Khammam and Warangal market yards due to crash in prices. Marketing minister T. Harish Rao said, “We are expecting the cotton production to double over the previous year. This requires that we set up more procurement centres which can cater to the demand.”

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