The Bharatiya Janata Party State unit has requested the Central Government to take steps to purchase poor quality seed cotton from farmers through the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI).
The BJP expressed concern over the heavy losses suffered by farmers due to prolonged dry spell and subsequent untimely rains in October. Cotton crop was damaged on more than 85,000 hectares in 21 districts, affecting more than 92,000 farmers. The total sown area in the State this year was 19.07 lakh hectares as against the normal sowing area of 16.76 lakh hectares, and 60% of the total sown area is rain-fed. BJP State president K. Laxman submitted a memorandum in this regard to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh who was in the city on Sunday.
The State BJP president accompanied by senior leaders G. Kishan Reddy and others briefed the Union Minister on the plight of cotton farmers at the party’s State headquarters this evening.
He told the Minister that the rain affected cotton had moisture content to the tune of 15% to 20% while the CCI procures cotton with moisture content of eight to 12% in the normal course. With the CCI not taking market intervention measures, private traders are purchasing cotton paying less than ₹3,000 a quintal, which is much lower than the minimum support price of ₹4,320 declared by the Central Government.
The Minister was therefore requested to pass necessary instructions to the CCI to purchase cotton from farmers paying the MSP of ₹4,320 a quintal even if the moisture content is beyond the prescribed norms. The BJP State unit also requested the Centre to set up separate statutory board for Turmeric at Armoor in Nizamabad district. Setting up of the Board would go a long way in value addition, grading, preservation and marketing, besides providing farmers with access to latest technologies.
In a separate memorandum to the Union Minister, he requested the Minister to categorise turmeric under commodities rather than commercial/cash crop besides abolishing futures trading of the commodity. Turmeric cultivation should be covered under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and farmers should be provided with interest-free loans from nationalised banks against their produce, he said. In addition, the Centre should take steps to supply high yielding variety of turmeric seed to farmers at reasonable prices and provide 25% subsidy on exports, Dr. Laxman said. The Union Minister, he said, responded positively to the requests and assured appropriate action into the issue soon.
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