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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

A silverlining after clouds on cotton

Raghbir Singh Brar, Hindustan Times  Faridkot, September 11, 2013
First Published: 21:43 IST(11/9/2013) | Last Updated: 21:44 IST(11/9/2013)

The cotton crop has brought some cheers to the cotton growers with the cotton rates running much higher than last year at the arrival of the crop in market and at the same time,battered by rains,the crop has started flowering,sending a ray of hope for many.The cotton has been arriving in small quantity for a week in Kotkapura grain market and rates have been up to Rs. 5200 highest.

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"The cotton rates have been from Rs. 5000 to 5200 this week which are much higher than the rates of cotton last year in the beginning.It was only about Rs. 3800 to 4000 last year,said Kulbir Singh Matta,district Mandi Officer Faridkot."

"On Tuesday,the cotton produce was sold at Rs. 4831 at my shop.The rates are very encouraging this year.The arrival has started with appreciating rates,says Harwinder Singh,a commission agent from grain market Kotkapura."

But on the other hand,the heavy rainfall in the region has dashed the hopes of many.The cotton crop in low lying areas has been completely destroyed by the torrential rainfalls.It is also a set back to many farmers whose crop has withered because the crop was at flowering stage when it began to rain on August 14 and continued for five days.They had already spent a lot on growing up crop which withered.

The cotton growers whose crops have gone have also no other option but to wait to sow next wheat crop on these fields because at this stage,no other crop can be grown to compensate the loss of damaged crop.

The continuous and heavy rainfall has also delayed the flowering on cotton crop which was at an onset at the time of rainfalls."It would also delay the next wheat crop because of the late flowering  the crop would mature late and yield of the crop would also get affected,said Sukha,a farmer from Behbal Khurd village."

"In my village the area under cotton had increased this year than that of last year but rains have badly discouraged the farmers.The crop is in bad condition and only now has begun to flower.Still,the all the crop has not started flowering equally and uniformally,claims Jagseer Singh,a farmer from village Behbal Khurd."

"The crop battered by rains has just now come on flowering stage and now we have some hope of getting some yield from it.But last year,the most of flowers had developed into bolls at this time.Though the flowering is late,yet it looks satisfacty,says Amardeep Singh,a farmer from warah Daraka village of the district."

Amardeep has brought down the area under cotton from 6 acres of last year to only 2 acres because has got another power connection.The area under cotton in the district is expected to be around 18000 hectares.The farmers prefer to paddy over cotton when irrigation is not a problem.

"The flowering on cotton is delayed by 10 to 15 days by rainfalls.But it is still not late.The flowers would develop into balls well in time if the weather condition remains favourable and there is no rainfall in September because rainfalls damage flowers,said Baljinder Singh Brar,block agriculture officer Kotkapura."

"The rates of cotton are usually determined by the International market and depreciation of Indian currency value,is also another important factor behind the rise.The depreciation would certainly encourage the import of yarn and other cotton material from India which would push the local industary to buy more cotton produe on higher rates in the local market,said Sanjay Mittal joint secretary of Ahartia association Kotkapura.Besides it,most of the cotton crop in Punjab is badly damaged by rains while the requirement remains same,he adds.."

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