Trading to be held every Wednesday at Thuraiyur Regulated Market

Fulfilling a long-felt need of cotton growers of the district, the Tiruchi District Market Committee has introduced weekly cotton trading at the Thuraiyur Regulated Market to help farmers sell their produce without having to depend on intermediaries.

Most cotton growers in the district had to go to Namakkal or other neighbouring districts hitherto to sell their produce through the agriculture marketing societies there or depend on traders, who charged a commission. Apart from complaints over delays in payment from traders, farmers expressed apprehensions of being short-changed in weighing.

Cotton is raised on about 10,000 hectares in the district normally and during the current year the coverage has increased to about 12,000 hectares. The crop is grown mainly in Thuraiyur, Musiri, Uppilliyapuram, Manachanallur, and Pullampadi areas in the district and the auctioning at the regulated market at Thuraiyur is expected to come in handy for farmers to transport their produce easily. Farmers had been demanding introducing the cotton auctioning at the regulated market to overcome the problem and help them get remunerative price. The issue had been raised in recent monthly farmers’ grievances day meetings and Collector Jayashree Muralidharan has instructed the Department of Agriculture Marketing and Agri Business to introduce an auctioning system through the regulated market. The Regulated Market at Thuraiyur would conduct cotton auctions every Wednesday, according to R. Chandrasekaran, Deputy Director, Agri Business and Marketing and Special Officer, Tiruchi District Market Committee. The auction would be conducted by way of closed bidding to eliminate any malpractice.

Mr. Chandrasekaran, who inaugurated the auction on Wednesday in the presence of V. Kandasamy, Secretary of the District Market Committee, told The Hindu that the first auction attracted about 20 farmers and equal number of ‘lots’ comprising 79 bags of cotton. Five cotton traders participated in the auction. The cotton brought in by farmers fetched a minimum price of Rs. 46 a kg and a maximum of Rs. 58 a kg, depending on the quality. Farmers need not pay any charge for participating in the auction and or have apprehensions over weighing. The regulated market at Thuraiyur has a storage godown with a capacity of 2,000 tonnes where farmers could store their produce if they wished to hold the stocks for a better price, said Mr. Chandrasekaran. A publicity campaign had been launched to draw more cotton growers to the auction.