Mumbai, Oct 4 (UNI) In order to help cotton growers in Vidarbha, which has witnessed a spate of farmers' suicides, the CITI-Cotton Development and Research Association (CT-CDRA) and the state government have jointly launched a scheme of contract farming in 342 villages of Buldhana district this year.
The CITI-CDRA has roped in nine cotton purchasers, probably for the first time in the country, and contract farming is being done with the involvement of a group of agriculture producers purchasers with the Cotton Marketing Federation, the apex body of purchasers, playing the role of facilitator, a release here said today.
Under the scheme, the district administration will monitor the supply of genuine inputs like seeds, fertilizers and pesticides through reliable trade channels. CITI-CDRA and district administration will play a direct role by supplying valuable information on improved and scientific practices and timely tips on pest control.
Awareness was created among the farmers by organising special educational programmes under the joint initiative. The most important aspect of the scheme was price-risk sharing accompanied by grant of price premium. The grower would always be assured of a decent price in a declining market and a reward over the market price. Payments to the cotton growers will be done on the spot based on the strength of weighment receipts.
The unique scheme, which is likely to be implemented in other parts of the state as ''Buldhana Model'' from next year, is a co-operative move, facilitating public-private participation to enhance productivity of cotton.