Hyderabad: Cotton farmers said they were facing hardships as the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) was not purchasing it. With this, they were forced sell their produce to private traders at rates much below the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 5,300 to Rs 5,600.
Small and marginal farmers were selling cotton to private traders as they pay immediately, but those who cultivate cotton in large fields are worried as selling at lower rates would cause them a huge loss.
According to the farmers, private traders were offering Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,600 per quintal based on quality of cotton as against `5,000 to `6,000 last year. Farmers said that the CCI is not giving any relaxation with regard to the percentage of moisture in the cotton.
Asked about this, an official of the agriculture department suggested that farmers dry the cotton before bringing it to the CCI and other purchase centres so that the moisture content was below 12 per cent. That would help them get MSP of Rs 5,550 per quintal.
The official also said that cotton was cultivated in nearly 50 lakh acres in the state this season.