By admin       2017-09-13

Telangana marketing department officials are bracing for what might be a repeat of previous years when a large quantity of cotton flooded the market, with a record cotton yield expected to hit markets from next month. With no water in Krishna basin projects, the State farmers switched to cotton from the traditional paddy and other commercial crops this kharif. As a result, cotton was sown in a whopping 111 per cent area against the normal area.The State government is expecting a yield of over 30 lakh metric tonnes of cotton this year, a bumper yield after several years. The increased production might lead to drastic fall of prices, officials said. Officials admitted that the government had made no timely effort to educate the farmers about the possible repercussions of cotton cultivation on a large scale. Cotton purchasing depends on international markets and the farmers were not warned about problems caused by excess yield, an official said.Sensing trouble, Marketing Minister T Harish Rao had asked the Centre to open more Cotton Corporation of India purchasing centres in the state. The Centre had only sanctioned 83 purchasing centres to the state. Rao wanted that increased to 143 and the centres kept open for at least six days a week.Cotton cultivation in the state increased this year due to farmers getting a good price for cotton produce last year, even as chilli and soya farmers burnt their fingers when prices for those crops crashed. Further, a shortage of water forced farmers to switch from paddy to the less water intensive cotton. Deficit rainfall that the state has experienced may compound the problem. As against the normal rainfall of 613.5 mm so far in the state, the actual rainfall recorded is just 545.0 mm, a deviation of 11 per cent. Less rainfall during the crucial flowering period will minimise the chances of the crop getting affected with diseases, an official said, adding that this would contribute to a bumper yield.Cotton, cotton everywhereDue to the deficit rainfall, only 87 per cent of the cropped area is covered by crops in the State this Kharif. The total sown area in the state is 37.79 lakh hectares against the usual 43.24 lakh hectares. Of this, however, cotton is being cultivated over 18.61 lakh hectares against the usual 16.76 lakh hectares, or 111 per cent against the normal. This may pose difficulties to farmers if the crop floods the market..

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