Vidharbha’s cotton growers taking up soyabean farming

November 14th, 2007 - 10:38 am ICT by admin  

Nagpur, Nov.13 (ANI): Disappointed at the low returns from cotton production over the years, farmers in Vidharbha region of Nagpur in Maharashtra are taking up soyabean production.

Drought, lack of marketing facilities, crop failure due to bad seeds and credit-related aspects are some of the factors that have made cotton farmers here to give up growing cotton.

Considering these hardships, the local farmers are taking up soyabean cultivation, which is much easier to produce and provides higher returns.

“The price of cotton is low and production is also low, that’s why we are now increasingly producing soyabean and less cotton. After initial losses incurred in soyabean production due to the high prices, we are now getting good profit. Next time too we will produce more soyabean and less cotton,” said Nitin Tirke, a farmer.

Farmers complain that the main reason for their apathy is lack of support from the government. Otherwise, the Vidharbha region of Maharashtra is ideal for cotton production.

Also, the harvest period for soyabean is shorter than cotton production. A farmer can produce three soyabean yields in a year while cotton is a biennial crop. The return on cotton is also lesser than soyabean.

The land under cotton cultivation is decreasing every year. Presently, total area under soyabean cultivation is 678,000 hectares while the total land under cotton cultivation is 193,900.

State Agriculture officials also agree that higher cost of cotton production as compared to soyabean production deters farmers from producing it.

“The cost of cultivating cotton is higher than soyabean. The cotton seeds are comparatively more expensive than soyabean seeds. The cultivation of cotton requires increased use of fertiliser and pesticide which increases the price of cotton,” said G.T.Jibhkaate, agriculture development officer, Nagpur.

The State agriculture department has assured to extend full help and co-operation to cotton farmers but the farmers call it just ‘hollow talk’.

Farmers complain that the State government has refused to hike the rate of raw cotton, which has just added to their woes.

Agriculture supports 600 million people, but contributes to only a fifth of India’s gross domestic product and accounts for only 12 percent of bank credit. (ANI)

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