Encouraged by the abundant monsoon rains and comfortable water levels in various irrigation projects, farmers started kharif planting on a promising note. Cotton appears to be the biggest winner, followed by paddy, redgram and soybeans.
According to the latest figures available, farmers sowed cotton on 26 lakh acres compared to the date area of 18 lakh acres last year, showing additional interest in farmers in cultivating the crop which is expected to have good demand in the area. the national and international markets.
While the redgram is sown in 3.18 lakh acres so far, which is one lakh acre more than the area seeded on the same day last year, soybeans are sown in 1.95 acres so far. of lakh (1.66 acres of lakh last year). Corn is sown on 1.04 lakh acres compared to 1.26 lakh acres sown on the same day last year.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao recently asked farmers to increase cotton acreage to at least 70 lakh acres (from over 60 lakh acres last year) because the product had a good demand in the market. He also wanted them to reduce the excessive concentration on paddy, while increasing the area of crops like redgram which have good demand.
“Cotton is likely to cross the 70 lakh mark this kharif. Soybeans are also likely to gain, ”said S Malla Reddy, Vice President of All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), Activity area.
He said that farmers face several challenges. “With the delays in repaying loan waivers to banks, farmers cannot access bank loans. In addition, only 40 lakh farmers out of the 60 lakh farmers in the state are able to obtain loans from banks, ”he said.
The remaining farmers are forced to depend on private lenders at exorbitant interest rates. He alleged that the banks were not following a directive from the Reserve Bank of India that required them to make loans to at least 100 close customers each year.
The problem of false seeds is also a serious challenge. “The government has recorded more than 250 cases against those who sell fake seeds. But no action has been taken, ”he said.
With the increase in irrigation sources by the state, the total cultivated area in the state has reached 1.35 crore of acres, prompting farmers to cultivate water-intensive rice over large areas. The fact that Telangana’s paddy production exceeded 3 crore tonnes last year, nearly five times the state’s paddy production five years ago.
During the Rabi season which has just ended, the Department of Civilian Supplies bought a record 91 lakh tons. Seeing a glut in the market and weak demand in neighboring states, the chief minister urged farmers to reduce paddy area and put more emphasis on cotton and pulses.
According to the first reports, cotton will gain considerably. “But farmers are unlikely to reduce the area of rice. Irrigation facilities and income secured through the procurement process will continue to encourage farmers to grow rice, ”said a chief farmer.
Cotton area, which was around 42 hectares three years ago, continues to grow in the state. The area increased to 54 lakh acres in 2019 and to 60 lakh acres in 20120.