Ryots decry promotion of cotton crop

‘Unilateral decision will harm farmers’

Farmers organisations on Saturday criticised the decision of the government to promote cotton cultivation on over 70 lakh acres in the State though the present cultivable area of 55 lakh acres is already unsustainable and resulted in farmers committing suicide.

The organisations held a meeting here under the aegis of Rythu Swarajya Vedika where the protests were finalised. They demanded that the government first finalise a comprehensive agricultural policy by extensive consultations with stake holders and then draw up an appropriate cropping pattern linked to incentives. It should not be a knee jerk announcement thrusting three or four crops.

The meeting was notable for a scientist of Centre for Sustainable Agriculture G.V. Ramanjaneyulu expressing dismay that decision of the government took everyone by surprise because experts like him who were consulted in the matter recommended reduction in the cultivable area of cotton and paddy. Based on soil type and depth and water availability, they had recommended only about 25 lakh acres in the State as suitable for cultivation of cotton. But, the government fixed the acreage at 70 lakh acres, which is unscientific, he said.

Similarly, the government recommended fine varieties of paddy that did not yield well in the second crop and is susceptible to pest. But, the government imposed only fine and long varieties.

M. Kodandaram, president, Telangana Jana Samiti, said change in the cropping pattern could not happen instantly as it involved hard work by a generation of farmers and taking risk. It was a unilateral decision of the government which will harm farmers.

Sarampalli Malla Reddy, vice-president, All India Kisan Sabha, wondered about consequences of crop failure or non-remunerative prices in market if farmers cultivate crops recommended by government.

The meeting decided to organise protest demonstrations in district headquarter towns on May 27 against the Centre’s stimulus package as it ignored damage caused to farmers by lockdown.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 12:40:50 AM |

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