ANANTAPUR: In the view of the massive damage to groundnut crop worth Rs.1,200 crore during last kharif season in the district, which is top producer of groundnut in the country, the administration has planned to procure at least three lakh quintal of seed to meet the needs in the upcoming kharif season.
Government agencies have to procure groundnuts seed in the Rabi season from 43 mandals in the district and also from other parts of AP and Telangana border districts. Joint collector Nishanth Kumar said Rs.6,500 has been fixed as the price for a quintal of seed groundnut.
The administration is scheduled to complete the procurement process by April 30 and distribute them at select distribution centres. Subsidised seed will be distributed from May 15. Rythu Bharosa Kendras will distribute groundnut seed to farmers.
In the last kharif season, groundnut farmers from Anantapur district suffered major losses estimated at 4.76 lakh acres of groundnut crop.
The poor yield and losses were attributed to untimely incessant rains during the peak season.
The inter-ministerial central team had inspected Anantapur to assess the situation.
Agriculture department joint director Ramakrishna stressed the need to procure quality seeds to encourage farmers as many had no stock of seeds. However, the availability of water from tanks connected to the Handri Neeva Sujala Shravanthi project, have encouraged farmers to grow groundnut in the ongoing rabi season.
Groundnut farmer Mahaboob Bhasha of Vidapanakal, whose crop in 15 acres of land was damaged has to purchase seed from outside.
“We have to depend on government support for the seeds to continue farming”, he said.
Agriculture department officials assess that groundnut sowings would be over six lakh acres....