Cotton farmers feel let down

By TheHindu on 01 Nov 2017

More cotton farmers in the district are in protest mode owing to their harvest being rejected by the Cotton Corporation of India Limited, the procuring agency under the Government of India, for failing to meet the prescribed standards.

Four days after the CCI opened its counter at a ginning mill at Nakrekal under the Agricultural Market Committee, the net weight procured so far stands at 7,284.25 quintals, its officials say. And a contrasting data shared by a mill owner puts the net weight till date at 3,776.90 quintals against the 166 takpattis (farmer’s invoices).

However, more than 60 farmers do not see their harvest contributing to either of the figures, and their tractors have been in queue for nearly four days. “The officer inserts the device into the cotton, and within three minutes we hear ‘Rejected’,” says N. Shankaraiah from Pittampally.

Another farmer from Thipparthy also pleads officers that his produce be taken, at any rate. “I have already spent a lot towards labour charges, and ₹3,000 for transportation and halting. I can’t go back home with more losses,” he says.

Moisture content

According to CCI purchasing officer Vengal Reddy, most of the cotton brought by the farmers showed moisture content beyond the prescribed level. And, 12% is the maximum permissible limit to be eligible for minimum support price. “Sometimes it goes beyond 15% and 18%. The problem is also with the coloured lint, from yellow to orange and red bolls. A clear no in terms of quality,” he says.

Protest against CCI

Several cotton farmers at CCI counters at Chandur and Chityala halted traffic by blocking the roads and protested against the CCI.

Others who felt betrayed by the season and the CCI say they sold the harvest to the same mill owners there at nearly 40% less than the government declared price of ₹4, 147 (for 12% MC) per quintal.

The Committee at Nakrekal has already issued ‘waiting tokens’ to about 800 farmers, to be cleared by the CCI by November 10. A new batch of farmers would be accepted after that, say the officials.

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