Web Exclusive | June 2017
Farmers switch to cotton from soya
Encouraged by showers under monsoons, the farmers in the Kamareddy district in Telengana in India have pinned hopes on cotton crop with soya cultivated last year leaving them high and dry. The farmers of the district generally cultivate cotton, but on the advice of the State Government they shifted to soya. They suffered severe losses as rains experienced at the time of harvesting the crop played havoc with their lives and they were not able to regain even the investments.
Predicting steep fall of prices in the international market for prices, last year the State Government advised the farmers against raising the cotton. In the last kharif, the area under soya cultivation was 70,000 hectares while the area under cotton was 6000 hectares. However, cotton farmers derived benefit to the hilt as a tonne of cotton last year fetched at least Rs 5500.
Agriculture department officials estimate that soya will be cultivated in 72,000 hectares and cotton on 10,000 hectares during the current kharif. But the official expectations might prove wrong. The farmers appear to raise cotton in at least 60,000 hectares as evidenced by poor demand for subsidised soya seeds. The farmers are not evincing any interest to buy the soya seeds. As a result, the soya seeds are gathering dust in godowns. In anticipation of unprecedented increase of area under cotton this season, fertilisers and cotton seeds sales have picked up momentum. The cotton farmers have taken up cotton crop expecting good price for cotton as was experienced last year.