VIJAYAWADA: Incessant rainfall in the last few days, under the influence of southwest monsoon, helped farm works to progress in a brisk manner as the farmers took up sowing of around 24 crops, including paddy and others, in 38.30 lakh hectares out of a targeted area of 42.04 lakh hectares by taking the total cropped area to 70.1 per cent for Kharif season in the state.
Paddy has been sown in 15.9 lakh hectares out of a targeted area of 16.25 lakh hectares so far by taking the percentage of sowing to 76.7. With regard to total food grains, including paddy, jowar, bajra, maize, ragi, minor millets, coarse grain, red gram, green gram, black gram, horse gram and other pulses, out of a targeted area of 23.16 lakh hectares, sowings were completed in 20.70 lakh hectares so far. Similarly, cultivation of oil seeds, including groundnut, sesame, castor, sunflower, soyabean and other oil seeds, were being taken up in 8.22 lakh hectares out of a targeted area of 10.10 lakh hectares. However, cotton cultivation surpassed the target area of only 5.63 lakh hectares as the farmers have been raising it in around 6.40 lakh hectares while tobacco is being raised in around 0.04 lakh hectares area as per target.
With regard to paddy crop, out of the targeted area of 15.18 lakh hectares, so far, sowings were completed in around 6.26 lakh hectares in the state. At present, the paddy crop is at transplant stage to seedling stage while jowar and maize crops are at the stage of sowing to vegetative status and so is the case of all pulses and seeds. Groundnut crop is at vegetative to flowering stage while sugarcane crop is at vegetative stage at present.
Moreover, in Godavari districts, as the Godavari river is in spate, following rainfall in its catchment area, in some areas, transplanted paddy got inundated causing crop damage or loss while in some areas, fields are also submerged. Failure to complete Godavari Delta modernisation works for so long has become a bane to the local farmers as they suffer inundation of crops, due to stagnation of water in their fields, for want of water getting drained through the canals.
The farmers have been making a fervent appeal to the State Government to provide them with seeds free-of-cost as they suffered crop damage in some areas due to incessant rainfall. The State Government has been deliberating on the issue and it may offer 90 per cent subsidy on seeds to the affected farmers.
Agriculture Joint Director Z. Venkateswara Rao (Planning) said: “The incessant rainfall helped farmers take up farm works in a brisk manner in Kharif season in some parts of the state while in some areas like Godavari districts, a section of farmers have been suffering crop inundation as Godavari river is in spate.”
On the other hand, several districts such as Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, West Godavari, Krishna, Nellore, Kadapa, Anantapur and Kurnool still witnesses deficit rainfall during the southwest monsoon season, beginning from June 1 to till July 31, while some districts — Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, Guntur, Prakasam and Chittoor have normal rainfall so far....