More than 4 million cotton farmers of Maharashtra are in distress and agitated due to crop failure in 4.4 million hectares of land. The drought-like situation in the state has hit farmers hard. According to Kishor Tiwari, Chairman of Maharashtra Government appointed, Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission, climate change, failure of Bt Cotton (Bollgard II varieties), very poor soil health and low moisture level has resulted in the lowest cotton crop. “The average cotton yield will be 2 to 3 quintals this season as per the ground information in Vidarbha and Marathwada region resulting in huge financial losses to the tune of Rs.8000 crore,” said Tiwari, the founder-President of Vidarbha Jan Andolan samiti.
Tiwari, in a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, has requested for long term and short term intervention in the prevailing cotton crisis. He said farmers suffered total loss during the cotton season of October 2017-March 2018 because of used BT (Bollgard II varieties) of cotton seeds supplied by various companies.