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Cotton farmers woes to end soon

19
Jan '07
The recent spate of suicides and threats of immolation by cotton farmers have prompted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to constitute a high-level committee headed by Agriculture Production commissioner R.N. Bohidar.

The committee would look into the problems related to supply of seeds, finance, technical know how, crop insurance and marketing faced by 5 lakh cotton growers and submit its report to the government within a week.

It would also suggest remedial measures and explore avenues of reviving Cotton Growers' Federation (Cotfed).

Though cotton cultivation has gone up this fiscal from 48,171 hectares to 50,657 hectares, production has slumped to 1.88 lakh quintals from last year's 2.39 lakh quintals. Lack of marketing support has further compounded the problem as farmers are forced to sell their produce at minimum prices.

As part of immediate measures, District Collector J.V. Sharma announced opening of a cotton purchase centre at Muniguda, whereas Chairman of (Cotfed) Murari Mishra has urged Chief Minister to provide a package of Rs 5 crore to revive sick enterprises.


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