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Rain worries cotton farmers

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R. Sundaram

With no protective cover, Bhoodapady shandy traders fear damage to their goods

ERODE: Bhoodapady Regulated Marketing Committee is now functioning under trees at the Bhoodapady weekly shandy.

Farmers are worried that tonnes of cotton will be destroyed by rain when the market season starts in the third week of this month.

Land purchased

For three decades, the farmers have been displaying sacks of cotton and other products such as copra and coconut in an open space in the panchayat weekly shandy.

Buyers will also stand in the open place even during rainy season or summer. Five years ago, the Regulated Market purchased five acres with its fund.

It was announced that the NABARD will grant Rs 1.50 crore to the Regulated Market under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund for construction of a building for the market.

Though five years have passed, no fund was received either from NABARD or from the Government. Because of this the farmers are worried as to how they will keep the cotton during the coming months.

Owing to heavy drought, cotton growth was affected for the last three years. But the production is good now.

Giving details about the cotton arrival to the market, the former secretary of the Regulated Market A. Venkatachalam said in 2001, 6,938 tonnes of cotton was sold in the market and after that it started reducing.

In 2002, 6,444 tonnes were sold and in 2003 it was 4,464 tonnes. In 2004 cotton arrival to the market was 2,769 tonnes and in 2005 it was 2,344 tonnes. During 2006-2007 the marketing authorities expect 7,500 tonnes as the crop production is good.

Cotton farmers from Erode, Salem and Namakkal districts and also from Mysore bring their produce to Bhoodapady Regulated Market and buyers from Coimbatore and Salem buy them.

Remunerative price

This year it is expected the farmers will get remunerative price for their product, as during the last four or five years they were affected slightly, said a farmer.

The farmers of the area have urged the Tamilnadu Government to take the initiative to get funds from NABARD for the construction of the building for the Regulated market.

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