Telangana farmers to hold protests across the state as cotton prices fall
Cotton prices are lower this year than they were last year, so farmers in Telangana have decided to hold protests across the whole state. They want ₹15,000 per quintal. Many farmers are upset about low prices, and on Saturday, hundreds of them held a dharna in Asifabad, a key cotton pocket in the State.
‘Even though the selling season started out well, prices started to go down and ended up at ₹6,800 per quintal. A farmer who took part in the dharna told businessline over the phone, ‘This is just a little more than the minimum support price.’
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About 50 million acres are used to grow cotton in the State. Farmers were encouraged to keep farming cotton in 2022 because prices had reached record highs in the past. Even though heavy rains and floods destroyed crops in many parts of the state, farmers went ahead and replanted the fiber crop.
‘Because of the second planting, the cost of making things went up. We hope that the higher costs will be made up for by higher prices,’ he said.
The All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has decided to hold protests all over the state of India starting on January 4. They want prices to go up. ‘Prices have been kept low on purpose, even though there is a huge demand for cotton,’ said S Malla Reddy, a senior leader of AIKS.
Boll growth had an effect
Rains that didn’t stop from July to September caused the crop to grow leaves, which hurt the growth of the bolls. ‘This has caused a huge drop in output. We think that the output will drop by 50%. It should be between 20 and 25 million bales this year, compared to 45 million bales last year, because farmers only reported getting 2 to 4 quintals per acre instead of 6 to 8 quintals,’ he said.
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President of the Pradesh Congress Committee Revanth Reddy has joined the farmers’ protests and asked the State and Central governments to guarantee a price of ₹15,000 per quintal. In different markets in the State, the price of the good is between ₹6,800 and ₹7,500 per quintal.