HYDERABAD: Incessant rains over past couple of days have added to the damage suffered by crops across the state. Agriculture department officials tentatively estimated that crop had been damaged in 11 lakh acres including cotton over a large area, paddy, maize and soyabean.
The state government had encouraged cultivation of cotton as an alternative to rice following which the commercial crop was planted in around 75 lakh acres.
Due to heavy rains, cotton crop was damaged around 25 lakh acres in 2020 and around 20 lakh acres in the 2021 season. In the Vanakalam (Kharif) season this year, farmers had sown cotton in around 43 lakh acres, but incessant rains damaged around 20 per cent crop.
The farmers are worried over the second sowing of cotton in the rainy season. Delay in sowing would adversely affect the yield, the farmers said. Agriculture scientists said that late sowing of cotton either in the last week of July or first week of August is not advisable. Usually, arrivals of cotton crop yields will complete by December end.
Reports said saplings were submerged in floodwaters in various districts. Cotton crop on around 8.60 lakh acres in undivided Adilabad, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Khammam, Medak and other districts were estimated to be damaged.
Farmers are demanding incentives from the government for cultivation of alternative crops. Despite the Rythu Bandhu scheme, the government did not give any financial aid to the farmers, they said. Efforts of this correspondent to contact Agriculture department commissioner Raghunandan Rao turn futile....