Has cotton failed the farmers in Telangana yet again?

In last five days, two farmers have already committed suicide in Sangareddy owing to failure of cotton crop due to pest infestation and poor yield; situation remains grim
Family members of the deceased farmer stage rasta roko with his body demanding compensation on Monday  | Express photo
Family members of the deceased farmer stage rasta roko with his body demanding compensation on Monday | Express photo

SANGAREDDY: Cotton farmers from the district, who were hopeful of a good yield and had planned to clear the debts, are once again disappointed. Thanks to the pest attack and seasonal changes, there was less yield of cotton crop this season.Farmers who are cultivating crops on leased lands in most of the villages in Sadasivpet mandal were disappointed with the low yield. In the last five days, two cotton farmers have committed suicide and locals are a worried lot and they feel that other farmers too might take an extreme step. 

Farmers from Atmakur, Bobbilagam, Pottipally and other villages in Sadasivpet mandal have one or two acres of land in addition to which they had taken land for lease for cultivation of cotton. Normally, 15 quintals of cotton is produced in one acre of land, which fetches about `2.50 lakh. The farmers had taken 20-30 acres of land on lease for the cultivation of cotton and had taken debts for it.  According to official figures, as many as 700-800 farmers have cultivated cotton crop in Sadasivpet mandal and most of them were tenant farmers. 

Talari Vasu from Bobbiligam village said that tenant farmers have agreed to pay `20,000-`25,000 per acre to the land owners and a few farmers had already paid some advance. He added that each farmer had taken `4-`5 lakh debts for paying advance to land owner, cultivation and others. He said that cotton crop has been completely infested by pests in Sadasivpet mandal and it is difficult to get even three quintals of cotton per acre. 

Irate farmers remove bolts of water pipeline in Peddapalli
Peddapalli: Distressed farmers from Munjampalli village in Palakurthi mandal removed the bolts of water pipe line of Yellamaplli to Nandi Medaram reservoir on Monday resulting in water gushing out upto about 30 meters high. For the last several days farmers in Peddapalli are suffering from shortage of irrigation water. On the other hand, Irrigation authorities started trial runs from Yellamaplli project to Nandi Medaram. The agitated farmers removed the bolts of the pipeline to fill local tanks. Authorities rushed to the spot and pacified the farmers and sealed the bolts.

where’s help? 
Traders are not willing to pay more than `3,000-`4,000 for cotton. Some of the farmers have stopped collecting cotton thinking it as a waste of money.  A farmer from Pottipally said that the state government should come forward to rescue cotton farmers and provide them compensation.

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The New Indian Express