Cotton farmers are concerned over the declining price of cotton and looking forward to a better price. Though cotton production witnessed an increasing trend following good rainfall, the market price is not up to the desired level, say farmers. Hence, the affected cotton farmers have sought the intervention of the district administration to ensure a better price’.
K.P. Perumal, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, suggested here on Saturday that the Cotton Corporation of India could procure cotton directly from farmers to offset the price decline. Now, one quintal of cotton was sold at prices ranging from Rs. 2,800 to Rs.3,200. It did not even meet expenditure incurred on cultivation of cotton that was raised mostly in Kovilpatti block. Cotton is also cultivated in neighbouring areas such as Vilathikulam, Ottapidaram and Ettayapuram. K. Navaneethan, cotton farmer from Kovilpatti, said that the produce fetched good price last year at Rs.5,500 to Rs.6,000 per quintal.
Though cotton production in the region had gone up by 60 per cent over last year, the prices were disappointing. “With assured irrigation, average yield per acre is seven to ten quintals and in rainfed cultivation it is three or four quintals. The average expenditure incurred on cultivation per acre is between Rs.10,000 and Rs.15,000,” the affected farmer told The Hindu. Unlike other crops, cotton cultivation is labour intensive. One acre of cotton picking costs Rs. 1,200.