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Chennai, Dec 1 (IANS) Heavy and incessant rains and water-logging have led to huge losses for cotton farmers of Tamil Nadu, especially those in Tiruchi district, which is considered the hub of the crop in the state.
The Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department teams that conducted inspection of cotton farms have come to a report that almost 60 per cent of the cotton farms in Tiruchi were destroyed, leading to heavy losses for farmers.
The department has assessed that cotton cultivated in about 5,500 hectares has been totally destroyed in the rains. In Tiruchi, cotton was cultivated in more than 10,000 hectares.
Farmers were expecting a good season as cotton prices had touched an all-time high and in Tamil Nadu, the market price was Rs 76 per kg during the commencement of the season.
Talking to IANS, Velmurugan, a cotton farmer at Thurayur in Tiruchi, said: 'We were expecting a good profit and the rains came when we were about to harvest the cotton. Now almost all is lost and we have appealed to the state government to provide good compensation. I have cultivated cotton expecting that I could square off my liabilities with this year's crop, but things have turned upside down and I have fallen into more debt.'
In Madurai also, several cotton farmers have lost their whole crop leading to huge losses.
A senior Agriculture Department official told IANS that they have done a field study on the estimated losses of cotton and will make a compilation based on the studies they conducted and file a report with the Department.
'The cotton farmers are in dire straits as our field report has revealed. Cotton farmers have had a failed season,' the official said.
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