Telangana farm forecast goes awry

Those who grew cotton benefited; red gram farmers hit.

Hyderabad: Farmers who cultivated cotton against official advice have done very well while farmers who cultivated red gram and were supported by the state government have seen falling prices with a glut in the market.

Cotton farmers are getting Rs 4,160 per quintal at Mancherial and Rs 5,830 per quintal at Madnur for the common variety from private traders. The minimum support price for medium staple cotton is between Rs 3,800 and Rs 3,860 and long staple from Rs 4,100 to Rs 4,160.

The sales of red gram (tur dal, kandi pappu) are sluggish, with a glut in the market. Red gram is purchased by Markfed, Hyderabad Agricultural Cooperative Association and Food Corporation of India at the MSP of Rs 5,050 per quintal while traders are paying just Rs 4,225 (Bhainsa) to Rs 4,600.

“It’s a fact that cotton growers are getting good returns due to a good crop across the state. There is a problem with regard to red gram because of the glut in the market,” agriculture secretary C. Parthasarathy told this newspaper.

He said the government was buying red gram from farmers in distress and has opened 65 centres for the purpose. “Cotton is being purchased above the MSP, but there is market intervention for red gram,” he said.

There were reports that traders had formed syndicates in some places and were forcing farmers to sell crops, especially red gram, at less than the MSP because of the glut. This led to protests. Marketing minister T. Harish Rao immediately stepped in, sought Central government help and opened purchase centres.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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