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Cotton sowing begins in Vidarbha


Nagpur:  After an anxious wait for the rains, cotton growers in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra– which has been experiencing good showers since a week– are back in their fields and have started sowing operations for the cash crop.

According to government officials, cotton growers are the first to set out for work in this season as it is a long duration crop and now they have water at their disposal.

Since cotton is a cash crop and major produce in the black soil in the region, the growers start sowing anticipating rains in early June and this year too, a large number of farmers commenced sowing operation well in time and fortunately rains also arrived, Dr Archana Kadu, the Agriculture Officer told PTI.

Though actual monsoon is yet to set in but pre-monsoon showers have brightened the prospects of good and timely sowing.

Cotton is grown in about two lakh hectare of cultivation area here out of a total of 4.75 lakh hectares, she said.

Whatever may be the forecast of Meteorological department about the rainfall or Monsoon, but farmers take a practical approach and get to work as and when rainfall occurs, the agriculture officer said.

In a relaed development, the government has admitted that the crop loan to farmers was behind schedule.

Co-operation Secretary Dr Shailesh Sharma during his visit here said about Rs 1150 crore crop loan was disbursed to farmers against a target of Rs 2830 crores by June end.

Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti president Kishore Tiwari has criticised the government for slow and tardy approach to the crop loan issue.

He alleged that the restructuring of loan was not complete and nationalised banks are not coming forward to extend loan apprehending rise in NPA, and co-operative banks do not have funds in the absence of government support.

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