By admin       2017-12-19

NUAPADA: Even as deficit rainfall acted as a bane for paddy farmers this year, it turned out to be a boon for cotton growers in the district. While scanty showers turned a blessing, the district administration helped the cotton farmers open a mandi for selling the cash crop. The farmers used to complain of distress sale due to absence of an organised market until now. The initiative of arranging a mandi was taken by Collector Poma Tudu. This season, the farmers had set a target of cultivating cotton over 7200 hectares in the district. Much to their surprise, they surpassed the target by growing cotton over 7759 hectares. Sources said the district had achieved its target to grow cotton over 940 hectares in Nuapada block and exceeded the target of 4140 hectares in Komna block, where cotton was grown over 5114 hectares. However, the farmers in Khariar block could grow the crop over 765 hectares despite setting 940 hectares as their target. Similarly drop in target has been reported from Boden block where cotton was grown over 762 hectares. Meanwhile, the farmers are overwhelmed with the district administration’s initiative towards the crop’s sale. Sana Mahanand of Dholramunda village in Jhagrai panchayat under Komna block is happy with assurance of the sale of his crop at the minimum support price of `4,160 per quintal due to the opening of the mandi at Market Yard of Regulated Market Committee (RMC) at Khariar. “Earlier, we were unsure about sale of cotton. Therefore, we were forced to sell it to middlemen and traders at prices offered by them,” he said. Bairaj Sahu of Sialati village in the block voiced similar feelings. “We used to sell our produce to traders from Balangir, depending on the quality of the cotton bulb. Now that we have a mandi with assurance on MSP, it is great,” he added. Contacted, Deputy Director, Agriculture Umesh Chandra Das hoped that a mandi in the district will encourage cotton cultivation. “We are now focusing on smooth procurement of cotton, keeping in view the distress sale of the crop in past,” Das added.

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