By admin       2018-12-12

Findings of a survey done by the Cotton Association of India’s (CAI’s) director Manish Daga suggest that even this kharif stage, pink has been witnessed in the last 15 days. This is giving sleepless nights to the state’s farmers. It will potentially cause added damage and follow up measures by the state government are likely to result in a smart drop in this year’s crop. Last year’s damage to the crop due to pink is yet to be considered legitimate by the Centre for paying damages to the farmers. The has been damaging Maharashtra’s cotton crop since the last two years. This time, the has not yet cleared the claims of the Maharashtra cotton farmers hit by leader has asked the Centre to undertake a joint survey with the before rejecting the farmers’ claims due to losses. He said that Maharashtra farmers have suffered a huge loss in the last two years owing to the attack. There are reports that the has sought clarification from the regarding mismatch in the area affected by pest attack and total cotton area under cultivation. An agriculture ministry official said that after the state clarifies, farmers will be given assistance under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). There were reports that the central government feels that the farmers’ claims may not be genuine. Shetty said, “The government’s approach for assistance to farmers, who have suffered genuine losses, is not conducive to farmers. Losses due to bollworm have been huge in the last two years.Even the PM’s crop insurance scheme has not helped farmers. In fact, some private insurers give bogus reasons to decline claims. I exposed such a scam in Parabhani where state government will are required to suspend 11 officials.” The Union ministry of agriculture has also found mismatches in arrivals and damage figures. However, apart from farmers, even the traders don’t buy the Centre’s arguments. According to CAI, in the cotton year (October to September) 2016-17, cotton sowing in Maharashtra was done in 3.7 million hectares while production was 8.9 million bales. In 2017-18, the area increased to 4.2 million while the crop fell to 8.2 million bales. In 2018-19, the initial indication implies that the area would drop to 3.8 million hectares while crop may be even lower at 7.5 to 8 million bales. ALSO READ: Atul Ganatra, president of CAI, said that even the yield in Maharashtra has fallen to lowest in the country. He said the all-India average yield is 3 bales per hectare while Maharashtra’s yield in 2017-18 has been estimated at 2 hectares, which is the lowest. Owing to the attack, farmers faced huge damages and to avoid this, the state has advised them to take only two pickings instead of 4-5 in a year, thus affecting their production and productivity. Daga found that there was no rain in the last 25 days in most of the cotton areas and many farmers diverted from cotton to soybeans or have done re-sowing of cotton.

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