GUNTUR:The much publicised rain guns expected to be given to farmers on subsidised prices for protecting their standing crops is being seen as only a temporary alternative for wetting dry fields.
Scientists at the Regional Agriculture Research Station (RARS) at Lam Farm in Guntur district observed that rain guns could come in handy for irrigating fields only to stop further withering of crops are not a parmanent solution for irrigating crops.
Admitting that the government’s decision is to go with the rain guns, and not take up cloud deesing (Megha Madhanam) like the Congress government earlier, the scientists observed that rain guns could only provide temporary relief to farmers. The farmers could not perform all their irrigation activities only with rain guns, they maintained.
Compared to cloud seeding, which requires a huge budget, the government could provide rain guns to farmers at cheaper prices. But, at the same time, rain gun irrigation will not prove to be useful for all kinds of crops, the scientists opined.
Keeping in view the adverse conditions for taking up farming activities due to poor rains this Kharif even in Krishna Delta, the State government decided to equip the farmers with rain guns. Agriculture minister Prathipati Pulla Rao announced subsidies to farmers in different categories. According to him, farmers having less than five acres of land will be given a discount of 90 per cent in the total cost. For those farmers having more than five acres, the discount would be 70 per cent, while for those who own more than 10 acres, it would be 50 per cent.
“Of course, the government may be of the view that rain gun irrigation method will help in bailing out the farmers from their irrigation woes. But, it could only come in handy for protecting the crops for a certain period of time and that too only for some horticultural crops, commercial crops like chilli and cotton. But, it will not be useful for the crops like paddy, which requires large quantity of water,” the scientists told Express.