Heavy and incessant rain that has been lashing one or the other part of the district, has had an adverse impact on cotton farmers. The rain water accumulated on the cotton farm, transforming it into a mini-tank, reflecting the damaged cotton rolls which had turned black.
Expecting heavy returns, majority of the farmers in the district opted for cotton farming despite warning by the agriculture officials that excess production may land them in trouble. It was estimated that cotton was grown in about 2 lakh acres in the district. During the last year, the farmers had followed the advice of the government and sown soya bean but incurred losses, while cotton had fetched better price in the market owing to crops being hit by pests in Punjab and parts of Pakistan. With the previous experience in mind, this year the farmers opted for cotton cultivation taking it to excessive production. But the rains hit them so hard that every cotton plant that had developed cotton balls, turned black. Each affected plant had about 20 to 30 cotton balls.
It was expected that farmers may lose between two to four quintals of cotton per acre incurring losses between ?10,000 and ?20,000. The worst hit among the farmers are tenants who took lands on lease for cultivating cotton. A farmer in the mandal had leased out as much as 70 acres land with an amount ranging between ?10,000 and ?15,000. “We do not know how to repay the loans taken from private persons with an interest rate of ?3 per month per ?100,” said Raju, a farmer.