Mar 7, 2012
RAJKOT: All the market yards in Saurashtra region observed bandh and auction of cotton has been put on hold to protest the central government's move to ban cotton export.
"We have communicated to all marketing yard officials to hold all process of cotton sale and purchase and all of them have joined in the protest. There are over 580 ginning units in Saurashtra region,'' president of Saurashtra Ginners' Association Bharat Wala said.
Wala added that all major cotton-growing states have joined in this protest.
"This is clearly an injustice for cotton growers and therefore we have stopped all process of auction and ginning indefinite period. The next course of action will be decided on March 9, when all ginners will meet in Surendranagar," Wala added.
According to farmers, Gujarat is expected to produce nearly 1.10 crore bales, of which 75 per cent is likely to come from Saurashtra region. The cotton area under cultivation this year also increased by 19 per cent compared to last year.
A farmer from Sayla village in Surendranagar district Valji Patel sold 20,000 kg cotton two days ago without deciding on the price. "I will now have to sell this cotton at a price that trader will dictate,'' Patel said.
"Last year, I waited since June, 2011 to sell 20,000 kg cotton to get price of more than 1,400 per 20 kg, but ultimately I sold it at the price of Rs 600 per kg. There are many farmers like me who have been waiting to get better price if they wait and finally they were frustrated by central government's move to ban cotton,'' Patel added.
Farmers in Bhukhi village in Dhoraji taluka of Rajkot district decided to burn the Holi of cotton to register a protest against central government's move.
"This ban on cotton export will lead farmers to commit suicide as they will be unable to recover even production costs. We have decided to collect cotton from each of the farmers to make Holika. Traditionally we use cow dung to prepare Holika, but this time we have made from cotton. It is a symbolic, but it shows our anger,'' a cotton farmer and trader Lalit Vachhani said.
"Fifty per cent of farmers have not sold their cotton hoping that they will get better prices, but it went into vain,'' he added.