PERAMBALUR: While welcoming the budget announcement on improving cotton production in the State, farmers in Perambalur district, which tops in cultivation of the crop, demanded implementation of a textile park project here that was announced about a decade ago.Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam on Friday announced the Sustainable Cotton Cultivation Mission at an outlay of Rs 15.32 crore towards increase in cotton yield during 2022-23.
Tamil Nadu Farmers Association district secretary N Chelladurai said, “Cotton is cultivated over 20,000 hectares in the district. Perambalur has topped in cotton cultivation for over a decade. Thus, in 2013, former district Collector Darez Ahmed brought the textile park in Padalur so that farmers could increase production and get a fair price. Towards this, 130 acres of land had been acquired, but the project has not been implemented yet.”
“If the scheme is implemented here, the government will be able to procure cotton directly from farmers. This will result in higher prices for farmers and increased production here. The livelihood of the farmers will be improved,” he added.
Commending the decision to increase cotton production in the State, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam State secretary R Raja Chidambaram said, “Despite high cotton production in Perambalur, the farmers struggle every year to get a fair price. They could not even sell their harvest at minimum support price (MSP) at the Perambalur regulatory market, as traders set the price here. Thus cotton production here has been on the decline for the past two years.”
Further, mentioning the cotton price as being higher than the MSP only this year, he said, “Farmers would have benefited this year if the textile park scheme had been implemented. “It should hence be set up immediately to fetch a fair price for cotton and increase its production. In addition, a law should be enacted to take action against traders who buy cotton at prices lower than the MSP,” he added.