Farmers in Prakasam district are jubilant as kharif crop sowings gathered steam across the district thanks to 60.5% excess rain in in August.
After a 31.1% excess rainfall in June, the kharif sowings slackened with the southwest monsoon playing truant in July. But the sowings picked up once again in August with the district registering 172 mm rainfall as against the normal rainfall of 107 mm.
Thanks to revived wet spell, the farmers, who have lost their crops in the last three years due to consecutive drought, now hope to recoup the losses and get some decent returns this year at least. “The situation is conducive for growing crops in the normal area of 2.28 lakh hectares,” Agriculture Joint Director J. Muralikrishna said after taking stock of the seasonal condition.
The district received 23.5% excess rainfall in three montsh since the outbreak of southwest monsoon in June, according to Chief Planning Officer K.T. Venkaiah.
Red gram is the most preferred crop by the ryots with sowings completed so far in 62,000 hectares as against the normal acreage of 64,500 hectares. Bajra is the other crop grown in 82% of normal cropped area of 18,000 hectares so far. “Thanks to encouraging market condition, the red gram coverage is likely to touch one lakh hectare mark this kharif,” Mr. Muralikrishna said.
Reservoirs across the Krishna in the State, including Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar, had not registered significant inflows this year also.
This has not dampened the spirits of ryots in Krishna Western Delta who have starting raising paddy seedlings thanks to release of the Godavari waters for the second year in succession through the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation scheme.
“We hope to reap a bumper harvest for the second year in succession by completing the harvest before November when cyclonic storms strike the coast thanks to Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme,” says Parchur Agriculture Market Committee Chairman Akkaiah Chowdhary.
With the department predicting a depressed market condition for cotton this year, farmers sowed cotton in only 40% of the normal acreage of 57,000 hectares under this commercial crop.
Having burnt their fingers growing chilli last year when the market price fell like nine pins, the spice crop coverage also dipped to 2,260 hectares this year as against the normal acreage of 26,000 hectares.
“We have distributed 9,000 quintals of subsidised seeds during kharif. With a view to make available enough fodder for cattle, the department had also distributed 9,000 quintal of fodder seeds,” Mr. Muralikrishna adds.