Scanty rainfall has reduced the cultivable land during rabi.
In rabi 2016-17, the total area brought under cultivation was 19.93 lakh hectares against the normal area of 24.63 lakh hectares, said Agriculture Minister Prathipati Pulla Rao on Saturday.
In reply to a question by MLC P.J. Chandra Shekara Rao during the Question Hour, the Minister said that during the north-east monsoon period, the State received a rainfall of 85.3 mm between October 1 and December 31 last year as against normal rainfall of 296 mm.
The Minister admitted that rabi sowings of major crops like maize, jowar, Bengal gram, green gram, and black gram were badly affected due to failure of north-east monsoon and lack of sufficient soil moisture.
“This has also badly hit paddy sowings during rabi under rain-fed tanks in Nellore, Chittoor, and Prakasam districts, and also under Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP),” he said.
He said to rescue the farmer, the government had promoted irrigated dry crops by providing seed on subsidy that helped them to opt for alternative crops.
A total quantity of 34,705 quintals of alternative crop seed like pulses, groundnut, sesamum, and Bengal gram worth Rs. 1,483 lakh was distributed to farmers in Krishna, Guntur, Nellore, Kurnool, Prakasam, and Anantapur districts.
To make up for the deficit area in rabi, an additional extent of 2 lakh hectares were covered with summer pulses in Nellore, Chittoor, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, and the Godavari districts, where farmers were supplied subsidised seed.
Besides, 3,300 quintals of black gram and 2,479 quintals of green gram seed was kept ready to be supplied for 33.35 5 subsidy, he said.
The Minister said, in coordination with the Irrigation Department, water release was regulated.
“This is to ensure judicious use by following water budgeting in the NSP and delta regions,” he said.
Mr. Pulla Rao said 5,652 oil engines and 3,058 units of water carrying pipes were supplied for judicious use of available water.
To ensure judicious use, water release regulated in the NSP and delta regions
P. Pulla Rao
Agriculture MinisterSpecial Correspondent