Water crisis squeezes cultivation to 29% in AP's Palnadu district
Of total 50,000 acres, farmers grow paddy crop in only 4,000 acres after the distrcit records a rainfall deficit of 68 per cent this year
GUNTUR: The drought-like conditions in Palnadu district have affected crop cultivation, especially paddy, due to water scarcity caused by low rainfall and high temperatures. Only 29% of the total land could be cultivated this year, which is a concerning situation for farmers.
The region, located 150 meters above sea level, has experienced less rainfall compared to neighbouring areas—Guntur and Bapatla, resulting in low groundwater levels. This year, the district recorded a rainfall deficit of 68%, exacerbating the already alarming situation.
Of the total 2.7 lakh acres, farmers have been able to cultivate crops in only 29% of the total land, i.e. only 70,000 acres, which shows a significant decrease compared to the previous year when over 1.71 lakh acres were cultivated by this time.
The impact of the drought-like conditions has been particularly felt in paddy cultivation, which is a major crop in the region. While paddy is cultivated in over 50,000 acres of land in Rabi season every year, the farmers could cultivate only 4,000 acres this year.
When taken a look at the cultivation of cotton, another major crop in Palnadu region, out of 1.21 lakh hectares of land cultivated in Kharif season, only 53,938 hectares has been cultivated this season.As the water levels are low in Krishna Delta, Guntur Channel, Nagarjuna Sagar, and Pulichintala projects, the officials are prioritising providing sufficient drinking water.
Meanwhile, the agriculture department officials are encouraging the farmers for aerobic rice cultivation as an alternative due to the shortage of water and various alternative crops including legumes, and other horticulture crops, and are planning to distribute seeds of Bengal gram, green gram, toor dal, and other legumes to farmers at subsidy prices and through RBKs.
The officials conducted a review and identified that over 320 quintals of toor dal seeds, 320 quintals black gram, 25 quintals of green gram, and 12,100 quintals of bengal gram seeds will be required and are making arrangements to make the required seeds and fertilizers available to the farmers within the stipulated time.
The officials with the coordination of senior scientists are educating and encouraging farmers to opt for micro irrigation and other water-conserving methods.Meanwhile, as the district is recording minimum rainfall, the farmers and officials are hopeful that cultivation will pickup gradually.
Farmers urged to opt aerobic rice cultivation
Meanwhile, the agriculture department officials are encouraging the farmers for aerobic rice cultivation as an alternative due to the shortage of water and various alternative crops including legumes,
and other horticulture crops, and are planning to distribute seeds of Bengal gram, green gram, toor dal, and other legumes to farmers at subsidy prices and through RBKs.