Cotton farmer Ravindra Krishna Patil in Maharashtra should be feeling flush after strong monsoon rains and a good crop, but high costs have cast a pall over his preparations for the festive season.
Instead of splashing out on gold jewellery, appliances or maybe even a car during Diwali - the biggest shopping season of the year - 28-year-old Patil must count his rupees after costs of everything from fuel to labour soared while cotton prices have fallen by nearly half.
Producers of other major summer-sown crops such as rice, sugarcane, soya bean and maize also have to contend with falling prices and rising costs, which may ultimately contribute to crimping the growth of Asia's third-largest economy.
"Like last year, I was planning to buy some gold for my family members during Diwali. But now it is not possible. Cotton prices have dropped and gold has rallied," Patil said.
"I have spent more money than last year. The cost of seeds, fertilisers rose. Labour wages jumped, but my profit fell," he said, adding that he spent about 400,000 rupees for cultivating 16 acres of cotton, compared to 290,000 rupees a year ago.
Image: Farmers plough a field before sowing cotton seeds in Kayla village, about 70 km west of Ahmedabad July 21, 2011.
Reuters, AP images