Telangana

Cotton being cultivated at the cost of other crops: millet farmers

Millet farmers taking out a rally against cotton cultivation at Zaheerabad in Sangareddy district on Friday.

Millet farmers taking out a rally against cotton cultivation at Zaheerabad in Sangareddy district on Friday.  

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‘Government should offer remunerative price for millets’

Farmers here may find themselves in a comfortable zone, but that does not happen without a few sacrifices. They may have irrigation infrastructure and other facilities in place to cultivate crops of their choice, but the process is not free of troubles.

One such instance was shared by Vinoda, a resident of Gangwar from Raikod mandal who is into millet farming, at Visham Panta Veedandi Rosham Panta Veyandi, a programme to create awareness on crops that are destructive. “I cultivate 30 varieties of crop in three acres of land. They are cultivated in such a way that we get yield once every month. But this time around, most of our crop, including jowar and millet, was eaten by birds. These are the only ones that they can eat as all our neighbours grow cotton. It’s definitely a loss for us, but I am not so bothered by it,” she said.

“Cotton cultivation in this region has been affecting us. Why shouldn’t the government offer remunerative price for millets that are healthy both for humans and the soil?” she questioned. She also mentioned that she would never cultivate cotton as millet cultivation provides her with fodder for cattle.

The awareness programme, organised by Deccan Development Society (DDS) here on Friday, was to give a call to farmers to save the traditional crops. It was presided over by P.V. Satheesh, director of DDS, and attended by Sarampally Malla Reddy of All India Kisan Sabha, M. Kodanda Reddy of Congress party’s Kisan Cell, K. Sai Reddy of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh and Sagar of Telangana Rytu Sangham.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Kodanda Reddy promised the millet farmers to take the issue to the notice of his party at the State and central level, and assured them of extending the required support. “Contrary to several reports on reducing women’s participation in farming, more women are into agriculture here,” he said, adding that the proposal by the Chief Minister, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, to create crop colonies may bode well for farmers if it becomes a reality.

“Here, all women are farmers who are against multi-national seed companies that are controlling 80% of the market at present. They want to conquer the entire market, the reason why they encourage cotton cultivation. But it’s being cultivated at the cost of other crops,” said Mr. Malla Reddy. He wondered why the State government was not coming forward to help the millet farmers here when the neighbouring Karnataka State was offering ₹3,000 per quintal for finger millet.

Mr. Sai Reddy promised the farmers to take up the issue with Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Earlier, a rally was taken out by the women farmers who raised slogans against cotton cultivation in the region.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 11:05:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/cotton-being-cultivated-at-the-cost-of-other-crops-millet-farmers/article20802752.ece

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