India: Cotton crop rots under flood


 Though both the state agriculture department and farmers hoped to have a bumper crop, but according to official figures, a total of 23,700 hectares of the crop is under water due to floods and heavy rainfall in Ferozepur, Fazilka and Muktsar districts.

This year, 1.24 lakh hectares is under cotton cultivation in Ferozepur and Fazilka — last year, the figure was 1.16 lakh hectares. In Muktsar, while 1.10 lakh hectares is being cultivated this year, last year, it was 88,000 hectares.

“We had great hopes for a good yield this year, but weather and floods have washed away all our hopes. In Muktsar alone, 10,700 hectares have been damaged. Out of this, 1,000 hectares have suffered 75 per cent damage. In Fazilka, 3,200 hectares have been damaged. If water is not drained out of the remaining area in Muktsar, it will further add to the loss. In Ferozepur district, 13,000 hectare cotton crop is under water,” “ said Chief Agriculture officer B S Chahal.

The cotton crop starts getting damaged if water does not drain out of the fields within three days. Though the crop has been damaged in Abohar as well, but it is minimum as of now, said Chahal. “Many fields are still under water. We will be able to access the exact loss once water completely drains out from the fields,” he added.

Last year, due to fluctuating prices of cotton in the international market, farmers had benefited and the crop had sold at as high as Rs 8,500 per tonnes.