HYDERABAD:Amid fears of deficit rainfall this Kharif season, the State government has worked out three contingency plans to bail out the farming sector in case of a crisis.
The Indian Metrological Department (IMD) predicts seven per cent deficit rainfall vis-a-vis the season’s average rainfall. This is better in comparison with 2014 kharif when there was a deficit of 30 per cent as against the season’s average of 715 mm rainfall.
According to the Agriculture Department, the first contingency plan would come into force if there are no rains by July 15. Six districts are expected to be affected in such a scenario - Ranga Reddy, Medak, Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Karimnagar and Adilabad. A total of 6.32 lakh hectares of cultivable land would face severe water shortage. With some measures, all crops can survive, including paddy that consumes maximum water.
All districts will face drought conditions if rains play truant by July 31. In such a case, 8.98 ha of cultivable land would be affected. Farmers are suggested to rely only on short-term varieties of paddy, and crops like red gram, maize, castor and soya bean. This is the second contingency plan.
In the worst-case scenario, a total of 12.32 lakh ha of cultivable land would stare at severe drought conditions in nine districts, if there are no rains till August 15. In such a case, farmers will be advised to shun paddy, and rely on Irrigated Dry (ID) crops like maize, greengram, blackgram, redgram, groundnut.
Director of Agriculture GD Priyadarshini told Express all arrangements were in place to face any eventuality. She advised farmers not to rush with sowing with one or two rains. “Ideally, about 6 inches of soil should become wet below the land surface providing the moisture for the seed to germinate. Otherwise the seed will die,” she informed.
The Agriculture Department has pressed special squads into action to keep an eye on the sale of seeds. Cases would be filed against spurious seed sellers, and the material would be confiscated. So far, the department has dispatched five lakh quintals of seeds to the sale points.
- Three contingency plans in place
- Cut-off dates for first, second and third contingency plans: July 15, July 31, August 15
- If there are no rains by July 15, the situation in the state can be managed
- In absence of rains by July 31, farmers will be advised to grow short-term varieties
- In the worst case, farmers will be advised to rely on irrigated dry (ID) cops