HUNDREDS of farmers from Karjan taluka protested outside the local APMC on Thursday after the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) refused to purchase the cotton they had brought on grounds that its moisture content exceeded the permissible limit.
They had reached the APMC at Karjan taluka of Vadodara district in tractors loaded with cotton.
The CCI officials after checking the cotton found excessive moisture in it and denied to purchase it.
One of the leaders of the agitating farmers, Kalpesh Patel said, “The CCI officials claimed the moisture found in our produce was high. We bring the cotton from the fields and due to the winter season, moisture is already present in the atmosphere and we are helpless. We have spent a great deal of money and also had done hard work in the fields and if our produce are not purchased we will be in great loss.”
Cotton farmers had faced damage to their crops due to a prolonged monsoon this year.
Senior Cotton Purchase Officer D D Solanki at APMC Karjan said, “According to the parameters laid by government, we can purchase cotton having moisture content upto 12 percent. We measure moisture in the cotton through a device and it shows correct percentage of moisture in the cotton. The cotton brought by the farmers for sale at APMC Karjan had moisture content more than 12 per cent. So we denied to purchase it. We have purchased cotton from other farmers whose cotton produce moisture level is below 12 percentage. In the present season the moisture percentage may go up.”
Karjan APMC Chairman, Satish Patel, a BJP leader and former MLA of Karjan, said, “The moisture level in the cotton yield this time has been high. The CCI has a norm that if the level of moisture is high they do not purchase it. Karjan has black soil which retains more water and many times the cotton crops are affected during this season, until January. I have written a letter to Parshottam Rupala ji (Union Minister of State for Agriculture), suggesting that the government must direct CCI to buy the yield even if at a marginally reduced price so as to save the farmers from suffering the loss.”
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