A group of cotton farmers sought the intervention of the authorities to eliminate the menace of middlemen and “unfair” practices in weighing of cotton at the market yard in the town.

Cotton farmers from various villages in the division represented their grievances to Joint Collector Surendra Mohan during the latter’s inspection of the market yard on Wednesday.

According to sources, a section of farmers lamented that they were being deprived of the minimum support price (MSP) for their produce by traders due to lack of proper supervision by the staff concerned at the yard. They deplored that the errant traders were denying MSP on the pretext of “high moisture” content in cotton and other factors.

Some of them underlined the urgent need to allot a fire engine exclusively for the market yard to prevent fire mishaps. However, the Assistant Director of Marketing B Laxman maintained that the traders offered the highest price of Rs 4,625 per quintal of cotton with ideal moisture content. He asserted that the transactions were being monitored closely to ensure the MSP of Rs 4,000 per quintal of cotton to farmers as per the stipulated norms.