Telangana Rashtra Samithi district unit leadership has decided to launch serious agitations to protect the interests of the cotton farmers. The party has strongly condemned the alleged failure of the government in supplying the seeds to the cotton growers in the district in accordance with the demand.
The TRS district unit convener Peddi Sudharshan Reddy has informed the press persons that on June 19 the party leaders along with a large number of farmers would lay seize to the office of the Joint Director Agriculture in the district.
Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, he alleged that the state government has intentionally reduced the supply of seeds to Telangana districts, in particular to Warangal, where 80 per cent of cotton growing area in the state was covered.
He accused the Minister for Agriculture Kanna Lakshminarayana and a senior agriculture official in Hyderabad called Balaram Naik, both from Guntur district, as responsible for the reduction of quantity of seeds supplied to the district. “They are doing this to black market the seeds and earn commissions from seeds companies,” he added.
Sudharshan Reddy said that the cotton seeds in particular Mahyco company seeds were being sold without any restrictions in the markets of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh states while in Andhra Pradesh the government imposed curbs and introduced permit system to selling cotton seeds.
While the maximum retail price of Mahyco seeds per packet was Rs 930, the farmers were forced to pay Rs 2000 per packet in black markets of the neighbouring states.
The TRS leader explained that the seeds supplied to Warangal district were two lakh packets for the year 2011-12. The seeds supply for the year 2012-13 was then reduced to 1.38 packets, instead of increasing it in view of expected growth in the area of cultivation under cotton crop.
He said that the area of cotton cultivated during the last year was 2.60 hectares, which in the current year has grown to 6 lakh hectares. “This means the supply of seeds should be increased, but the government acted inversely,” he added.
This clearly tells how the government has been harassing the cotton farmers in the district and in Telangana region,” he said. During a recent visit of K Madhusudhana Rao, Commissioner of Agriculture, to the district the TRS submitted a memorandum to initiate measures to set the things right in the supply of cotton seeds, but to in vain, he added.
He informed that the ranks of TRS would also stage demonstrations on June 19 at all the mandal headquarters highlighting the issue. [The Hans India]