KKMC blames middlemen for denying ryots a good price for cotton

The Kisan and Khet Mazdoor Congress (KKMC), the farmers' wing of the Congress party, demanded that the Centre fix a remunerative rate as the minimum support price (MSP) for cotton. It also suggested the government to announce the MSP in May or June itself. Speaking at a workshop here on Wednesday, representatives of the Kisan and Khet Congress from several States and some cotton growers explained the difficulties and increasing cost of cotton cultivation, decreasing yields and unremunerative price for their produce.

They urged the government to reduce the role of middlemen who, they said, were denying a good price for cotton.

“The farmer is spending Rs. 25,000 per acre on inputs and other overheads for cultivation of cotton and in turn just getting Rs. 27,000 in return. Is an income of Rs. 2,000 for four months of toil justifiable,” Pavan Kumar from Tamil Nadu asked.

The benefit of cotton exports was also going to traders as the notification for export of cotton would be given only in March by the Director General of Foreign Trade, by which time the farmers would dispose of their produce at whatever price they get to repay the loans taken for cultivation, Narasimha Rao, a functionary of the KKMC, said.

Seed prices

KKMC chairman S.S. Surjewala said there was an urgent need to address the problems of cotton growers to sustain the farmers' interests in the cultivation of the cash crop.

Seed bill

He urged the Centre to pass the seed bill pending in Parliament for the last couple of years to control seed prices and ensure supply of quality seed to farmers.

Further, he suggested the government to give all subsidies to farmers directly. General secretary of KMCC Avinash Kakade, State chairman M. Kondanda Reddy, Mallu Ravi, Kotagiri Vidyadhara Rao, G. Kamalakar Rao and others spoke.

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