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Telangana BJP today urged the Centre to directly purchase cotton from farmers of the state at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 4,320 per quintal. In two memorandums submitted to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh at the Telangana BJP office here this evening, the party requested him to issue directions to the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) in this regard and also demanded setting up of a Turmeric Board in Telangana. State BJP unit president K Laxman said the cotton grown area in Telangana stood around 19,07,275 hectares this year which is 5 lakh hectares more as compared to last year. However, there was a deficit rainfall and a long dry spell prevailed during August and September due to which cotton crop got affected, he said. "While the cotton boll opening was not satisfactory due to this dry spell, continuous heavy rains subsequently led to cotton boll getting rotten and cotton lint getting decoloured as a result of which farmers suffered heavy losses in terms of poor yield and quality of produce," Laxman said in the memorandum. In another memorandum, Laxman said turmeric is one of the important crops in Telangana and its cultivation in Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Adilabad districts accounts for 40 per cent of production from the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. However, almost 95 per cent of the turmeric farmers are not financially sound enough and as such they are not in a position to wait for good market rate. Even there are no proper godown facilities to store the final produce till farmers get good price and they are forced to sell their produce at the prevailing market price, he said. There is an urgent need to take remedial measures to save turmeric cultivation in Telangana, otherwise the adverse market conditions may deter the farmers from its cultivation, Laxman said. He said the Turmeric Board be set up at Armoor in Nizamabad through which value addition, grading, preservation, marketing and the latest technology access in cultivating turmeric can be ensured. He further requested that turmeric be categorised under commodities rather than commercial/cash crop and that its future trading be abolished. Turmeric cultivation should also be covered under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and high yielding varieties of turmeric seed should be provided to farmers at reasonable rates, the memorandum said. Laxman also suggested providing subsidy for construction of godowns to farmers cooperative societies.
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