Photo Essay: Cotton, a stubborn cash crop

Cotton, a so-called cash crop, doesn’t result in enough income for many farmers as the name would suggest. Greedy pests, droughts and low market prices make it increasingly difficult for farmers to rely solely on cotton farming. Global Ground Media followed the production from the field to the market and the processing factory.

Cotton in a field before harvest. (Pimpri, Maharastra, India, 2015)

Portrait of a so-called agricultural labourer working on other people’s land to earn a daily wage. (Fatehpur, Maharashtra, India, 2018)

Three agricultural labourers in a vegetable field. (Pimpri, Maharastra, India, 2015)

An agricultural worker is cleaning the cotton before it goes to the market. (Pimpri, Maharastra, India, 2015)

A labourer as seen standing next to a cotton truck. (Pimpri, Maharastra, India, 2015)

Sold cotton is loaded back on the trucks. (Fatehpur, Maharashtra, India, May 2018)

One of the sales managers of the cotton market in Fatehpur is leading the sale of this specific load of cotton while possible buyers wait for the first one to make a bid. (Fatehpur, Maharashtra, India, May 2018)

The yellow paper indicates this cotton is already sold. It features the buyer, seller and price of the cotton. The price is determined by the quality and pollution in the cotton. (Fatehpur, Maharashtra, India, 2018)

Cotton and labourers arriving at the processing plant. (Fatehpur, Maharashtra, India, 2018)

The cotton is further separated and cleaned at the processing plant to remove all pollutions. (Fatehpur, Maharashtra, India, 2018)

The then clean cotton is pressed into bales or bundles for easy transportation. (Fatehpur, Maharashtra, India, 2018)

Off go the bales to mainly clothing manufacturers. (Fatehpur, Maharashtra, India, 2018)

Pictures by Abhaya Gupta

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