Gujarat Cotton Farmers Bear The Brunt Of Lockdown
The Saurashtra region of Gujarat is famous for cotton cultivation, but due to the lockdown, the crop is not being sold at even a quarter of its price. According to the farmers of the state, in the year 2012-2013, one quintal of cotton sold for Rs 7,000 to 7500 but now it is not being sold even at Rs.3000 per quintal.
According to Raju, a farmer from Surendranagar, before the lockdown, the price of cotton was Rs 4500 per quintal, but now it has decreased to Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per quintal.
Another problem faced by farmers is that they have to wait for several days to sell their crops. Sometimes, while waiting, the entire crop is destroyed by rain. According to Raju, there are thousands of cotton farmers in his district but there are only four purchase centres in the state. And only 40 farmers are called every day at one center.
Prakashbhai, a farmer of Junagadh, says that farmers are being killed all around and their condition has become like slaves. Earlier, farmers were upset with stray animals and now there is no price rise in the market. According to the farmers, the demand for cotton has come down by 30% due to the lockdown.
The farmers accused the central and state government of making anti-farmer policies and also questioned the economic package of Rs 20 lakh crores. The farmers said that there is no relief for them in the package