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Off-season rain destroys cotton crop in Tamil Nadu
May '15
Cotton farmers in Tamil Nadu find themselves in dire straits after unseasonal rain over the past few weeks submerged the crop in vast areas. Hundreds of farmers who had raised the crop on more than 5,700 hectares of land in Tiruvarur district this season are keeping their fingers crossed as the off-season rain has put paid to their hopes of a bumper harvest. The destruction of the crop drove a debt-ridden farmer to suicide in the district last week, according to media reports.

Thirty seven-year-old Rajaraman’s suicide has prompted farmers' association to demand compensation and cover them under National Crop Insurance Programme.

Although cotton is not the traditional crop in the Cauvery delta, its acreage in Tamil Nadu has been growing steadily as paddy farmers opted for the cash crop the needs less water and fetches better returns.

In Tiruvarur district, remunerative returns had led many farmers in Valangaiman, Kudavasal, Koradachery, Nannilam, Kottur, and Mannargudi blocks to opt for the cotton crop knowing full well the risks involved. What they never bargained for was the off-season downpour last week.

Last year, Tiruvarur cotton growers enjoyed bountiful harvest reaping between 12 and 15 quintals an acre and happily sold them for up to Rs 50 a kg. (SH)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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