Khammam: The excessive rains hit the cotton farmer very adversely who are in no position to get the minimum support price of Rs 5,825 per quintal. Traders are offering Rs 1,300 per quintal for cotton that, they claim, lacks quality.
In the Khammam market, the highest price for cotton was Rs 4,600 and the average price Rs 3,000 per quintal. Farmers who had no place to dry the cotton are bringing the produce to the market. N. Nageswara Rao, a cotton farmer from Subledu, said that the excess rains and the inability to dry it has resulted in the produce having a lot of moisture.
In general, the farmers used to harvest three to four quintals in the first round but the rains have reduced the production to two quintals. The stranding of rainwater around the plants has changed the colour of the cotton.
G. Srininvasa Rao, an expert in cotton farming, said, “The farmers of Khammam district will lose at least Rs 10 crore this season. Traders are offering less than MSP prices for the produce.”
Cotton Corporation of India had not opened its procurement centres so far which as paved the way for private traders. Some farmers brought the cotton that was kept in cold storage last year and are selling it at Rs 4,825 per quintal.
Cotton is raised in 2.67 lakh acres in the district and half the area is affected by the rains.
V. Nageswara Rao, a farmer, said that the marketing officials should provide a place to place and dry the produce for a while. “We can get better prices if we reduce the moisture in the produce,” he said.