The cotton trading season will end in a few months or so but banks in erstwhile composite Adilabad district have failed to register good progress so far as crop loan recovery from farmers is concerned.
“The latter are a reluctant lot when it comes to repayment this instance as they are expecting another crop loan waiver announcement in coming months,” pointed out a bank manager of Telangana Grameena Bank as he gave a reason for the tardy repayments.
Instead of bringing their produce to concerned agriculture market yards, a majority of farmers have opted for selling it to unlicenced private traders at mandal headquarter-level. Though this fetches them about ₹500 less than the going price for the day, they prefer trading with the unlicenced purchasers as they pay in cash.
“If we were to sell cotton in the market yard, we get paid through bank accounts. This will have the banks deducting our crop loan amount,” says Chinna Ganganna, a cotton farmer from Donga Karanji in Tamsi mandal.
Most of the banks have not achieved even 20% in terms of repayment of crop loans. Even at the busy Bheempur branch of Telangana Grameena Bank in Narnoor Agency mandal of Adilabad district, the recovery is less than 30% against advances of ₹ 32 crore to farmers.
The quantum of trading through private purchasers outside agriculture marketyards is not quantifiable in exact terms.
However, the method of transporting of cotton to yards by petty businessmen and traders from every corner of the four districts which made up undivided Adilabad can give a good insight into it.
At the Agriculture Market Committee yards in Adilabad town, nearly 15 lakh quintals of cotton traded so far arrived in goods transport vehicles instead of bullock carts even from villages which lie within a few kilometres of the facility. Cotton was brought to the yards in 82,945 goods transport vehicles against 3,084 bullock carts between October 9, 2017 when the market opened and February 16, this year.
The petty traders operating at mandal headquarter-level, there are at least five such businessmen operating in almost every mandal, own vehicles of different descriprion which are used to transport cotton even to distant markets.
About 200 such vehicles transport the white gold mainly to Adilabad yard regularly.
"We offer a price which is about ₹200 per quintal less than the day’s market price which has stayed higher than the minimum support price of ₹4,320 per quintal. This margin ensures our expenses on labour and diesel are covered and leave us with some profit,” revealed a trader from Jainoor mandal headquarter in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district which has the largest number of private traders in the region.