Anantapur: The shortage of rains in Rayalaseema severely impacted the output of groundnut across the region. Farmers suffered huge losses for a second consecutive year.
Rayalaseema recorded another rain-deficit year at a a dismal average of -35 per cent even as the advent of southwest monsoon was recorded earlier than normal.
Poor rainfall hit agriculture output during the kharif season. This had an effect not only on farmers but on various traders in the region.
As against the normal 7.41 lakh hectares covered under agriculture including 5.43 lakh hectares for groundnut, this year only a third of the area was cultivated in Anantapur district alone.
The government had declared all the 63 mandals of Anantapur as drought hit due to the severe conditions.
Agriculture department officials pointed to the reruns of groundnut that was sown during the early season even as some other areas saw the cultivation of alternative crops in the region. There was a heavy demand for alternative crop seed in Kadapa and Anantapur districts.
All four districts face deficient with two being largely deficient. The deficiency level touched 40 per cent during the present season. Kadapa has been facing acute deficiency that reached a high of 61 per cent during the peak period of August. It was followed by Kurnool with a deficiency of 41 per cent. Anantapur is rain deficient by 40.8 per cent.
The total normal rainfall received is 433.5 mm. What was received, however, was only 256.7 mm till October last week. The deficit was 72 per cent in July and 61 per cent in August.
Markets boom and trading spree is seen closely connected to agriculture output. Non agriculture trade flourishes when agriculture is doing well and when farmers get bumper groundnut crop.
Venkatesh, a cloth merchant from Anantapur, observed the impact on groundnut-hit market. “We can be hopeful of good business only when the groundnut yield is good, otherwise market suffers huge loss throughout the year,” he assessed.
The groundnut oil mills in Rayalaseema region were running with losses as many of them were closed. Gopalkrishna , a mill owner said poor returns of groundnut unable to run the mills as the millers have to purchase from other states....