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Telengana takes steps to curb farmer suicides

Telengana is taking steps to help farmers, especially cotton growers, in the state. There has been a series of farmer suicides due to poor rainfall. Cotton growers in the state are also trapped by middlemen. About 1,132 farmers have committed suicide in the state during the last one year and 90 per cent of these are cotton growers.

Warangal, Adialabad, Karimnagar, Nalagonda, Nizamabad are the main cotton growing districts in Telengana facing a farmer suicide problem. Suggestions include increasing the number of cotton purchase centers and of purchase staff, involving the national agricultural cooperative federation in the purchase mechanism and a joint meeting of all stakeholders -- farmers, ginning mill owners and traders.

The aim is to help farmers get a more remunerative price for cotton and not face distress situations, where they contemplate drastic measures. The cotton procurement season begins in October. Last cotton season, Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) had fixed a remunerative price of Rs 4,050 per quintal. There is a proposal that the CCI increase the remunerative prices it offers this cotton season. This appears to be one feasible solution. During this kharif season, cotton growing area in the state has increased by 15 per cent.