Traders continue to loot cotton farmers

Traders continue to loot cotton farmers
Highlights

The anguished farmers, for being exploited by private traders and for the apathy of the State government, started a new way to vent out their agony by displaying the extent of loss they incurred due to the unfair prices offered at the market yard.

Karimnagar: The anguished farmers, for being exploited by private traders and for the apathy of the State government, started a new way to vent out their agony by displaying the extent of loss they incurred due to the unfair prices offered at the market yard.

Several farmers lamented that they even could not recover transport and labour costs after selling their cotton at CCI purchase centre here. The CCI officials are not purchasing the cotton citing low quality, while the private traders are fleecing the farmers.

“Though the Centre had announced Rs 6,000 per quintal, the officials are paying the price between Rs 1,500 to Rs 4,500. If we want ready money, they we have to slash the rate further,” the farmers complained. The situation at Peddapalli market yard is even worse. They were pressurised to sell cotton at Rs 1,200 a quintal. The farmers are demanding at least Rs 7,000 per quintal for A-grade cotton to render justice to them.

Anjaiah, a cotton farmer from Sambaiahpalli, said that he shifted his produce to the market yard lured by the offer the CCI will purchase the cotton. But the officials are not purchasing the cotton, saying that the quality if very low, without actually testing it with machines, he pointed out.

Taking advantage of the situation, private traders are offering to buy the cotton at a cheap price, well below the minimum support price (MSP). The situation turned worse for Anjaiah as he had no alternative except to sell cotton for the price fixed by the traders. The amount realised was not sufficient to pay off the interest on the amount borrowed.

In Jammikunta market yard, amidst the cotton belt, the situation was no better. The officials said not even a single farmer brought cotton that was up to the mark. Unless the government initiates stern measures, there seems to be no let up in the atrocities committed by the private traders.

In undivided Karimnagar district, the CCI officials are not purchasing cotton in any other market yards except at Sircilla. Karimnagar Market Yard Chairman Narsimha Reddy told The Hans India that the farmers need not worry at all as the good quality of cotton is being traded at Rs 4,000 a quintal.

The CCI opened its counter but the officials are not carrying out purchase operations because of very high moisture content. He appealed the farmers to dry cotton under sun and bring it to the market yard.

Anjaiah of Choppadandi mandal said that it is not the CCI officials, but the traders are fixing the cotton price, because the quality of the yield suffered on account of unseasonal rains and mosquito menace. If the CCI officials purchase the cotton, there are chances that the commodity will be traded at a higher price. They are not purchasing, but insisting on higher quality cotton, he stated.

Rajamallu, a farmer from the district, said that the farmers are not able to recover even the labour cost if the cotton was to be sold at the price fixed by the traders. He lamented that the farmers, who put in money, cultivated facing all odds, has no right to fix the price for his yield. If the State government did not come to our rescue, there is no alternative to the farmers except committing suicides, he stated.

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