The forecasts of good rainfall in the coming days bode well for the state that is recovering from a delay in the monsoon and had farmers and the government in worry. After a delay of one to five weeks, the monsoon became active in mid July in the state. Against a normal rainfall of 290.5 mm, it was recorded at 295.3 mm in July this year.
The Meteorological department forecast moderate to heavy rainfall in Coastal Andhra Pradesh in the next couple of days and light rainfall in parts of Rayalaseema. Out of 1,122 mandals in the state, 372 mandals (as on August 1) had inadequate rains. The overall picture given by the Met officials is of normal monsoon albeit with delayed onset.
The delay saw a lag period of 85 to 90 percent in sowing, and the rainfall received by the Krishna delta region are not adequate, casting a doubt over the viability of paddy crop in 10 lakh hectares.
Of the total 26 lakh hectares of paddy crop in the state, 10 lakh ha are in the Krishna delta region while majority of cropping areas falls in the Godavari delta that has adequate waters for paddy.
The problem seems to lie in the Krishna delta region if the farmers opt for paddy cultivation in traditional way. Given the circumstances, they are vulnerable to suffer losses. “However, if they go for irrigated dry crops like maize, jowar, red gram etc they will have good yields since such crops require no standing water,” says V Nagi Reddy, prinicipal secretary (agricluture). He says that farmers of another five lakh acres (rain-fed) in the state are advised to go for short dry crops like bajra, cow pea, red gram, castor as they are drought-resisting crops.
However, if the farmers in the Krishna delta still want to go for paddy, they are advised to follow Drum Seed Drill cultivation and Mechanised SRI cultivation. The new systems will not require standing water.