Farmers of 5204 paddy variety stare at Rs 100 crore loss in Khammam

Heavy rains damaged more the 5204 paddy variety and production came down by 30 per cent

KHAMMAM: Farmers who raised the 5204 paddy variety instead of 1010 and 1064 varieties in Khammam district are finding it tough to sell their produce. Heavy rains caused massive damages to paddy production because of attacks by pests like brown plant hopper (BPH), rice hispa beetle and meal bug. Paddy is raised on 2.90 lakh acres in the district and they have sown 5204 variety seeds in 90 percent of them.

Earlier, they raised 5204 variety and 1010 and 1064 on 70:30 ratio. The State government encouraged the farmers to go for 5204 (sannarakam) rather than 1010 (doddurakam). The 1010 and 1064 can withstand attacks by pests and the yield would not be disturbed.

Heavy rains damaged more the 5204 paddy variety and production came down by 30 percent.

Farm expert N Rambabu said, “The farmers, who raised 5204 managed to produce 25 bags instead of 35 of normal yield. Pests adversely impacted the yield. The farmers, who opted for 5204 variety may lose one lakh tonnes of paddy this year and they may lose at least Rs 100 crore”.

There is not much difference between sannarakam and doddurakam paddy prices. The government is paying Rs 1,888 as MSP for sannarakam (fine variety) and Rs 1,868 to doddurakam (coarse variety). The farmers, who raised doddurakam, are happily selling their produce while those who went for sannarakam are languishing.

Bomma Rajeswara Rao, Rice Millers Association president who runs a rice mill in Khammam said, “Some of the millers in Miryalaguda bought rice from other states where the price is less, Later, the government intervened and stopped import of paddy”.

The farmers were asked by the paddy lifting agencies to dry the produce and remove empty ears of corn before bringing the produce for selling. With this, the costs of removing empty ears of corn and drying are adding to input costs.

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