Hyderabad: Several mandals in Andhra Pradesh are staring at yet another drought. Due to deficit rainfall, the area sown in the state is only 12.87 lakh hectares as on date as against the normal area of 42.56 lakh hectares for the season.
Though officials of the agriculture department are in a positive frame of mind over increasing the area of sowing as south-west monsoon extends up to Aug. end and Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka are known to receive good rains in the last month of Southwest Monsoon, sources said officials are only being optimistic as the situation on the ground is really bad.
Even this 12.87 lakh hectares sowing, which accounts for only 30 per cent of the total area that is normally covered by sowing during Kharif, was done due to good rains in June i.e. the beginning of Southwest monsoon.
After June, there has been a long lull. Though there has been little spells of rains in July, it is not significant and can be termed as a dry spell. Due to deficit rainfall, further sowing could not be taken up and now officials are preparing the farmers at the ground level to go for short-duration and contingency crops for which seed supply to the districts is in progress.
“It is too early to say that drought has hit the state. Yes the situation at the ground level is not good but we have Aug. during which the state gets rains. We are confident that even the crop sown area will increase during Aug. as rains come. Kharif season extends from June to Oct. end and not everything is lost.” T. Vijay Kumar, special chief secretary, Agriculture and Cooperation (Agriculture) Department, said.
Experts said the Southwest Monsoon is crucial for agriculture sector and entered AP on June 12 and spread over the entire state by June 13 except in Srikakulam district where it entered on June 22.
South-costal and Rayalaseema region recorded deficient rainfall of minus 42 per cent. The overall state average rainfall from June 1 to July 29 is 223 mm against a normal of 238 mm....