KHAMMAM: The demand for drylands is shooting up in erstwhile Khammam district, all thanks to the extensive cultivation of oil palm and mango in this region. Drylands are perfect for the cultivation of these crops.
As the prices of drylands are going through the roof, the demand for wetlands is plummeting. This is interesting because up until a few months ago, everyone, including NRIs, had been cashing in on wetlands. The rising prices of oil palm tipped the scales, encouraging many to change their preferences.
B Srinivasa Reddy, a middleman working in Kandukur village, said, "There was a huge demand for wetlands up until recently. Things have changed now and we're witnessing more transactions of drylands."
He said that techies, NRIs and government employees were the major purchasers. People have begun raising oil palm as it has a huge demand in the open market, he said. Its prices have touched Rs 18,000 per tonne and can bring one an annual income of Rs 1 lakh per acre. District Horticulture Officer J Mariyanna remarked that drylands were hard to find these days as everyone was keen on buying it.
THE TABLES HAVE TURNED
Previously, each acre of wetland cost Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh, depending on soil quality and water sources, whereas the price of one acre of dryland was Rs 5 lakh to 15 lakh. The latter's cost has now increased to Rs 20 to Rs 25 lakh per acre, while the price of wetlands has fallen to Rs 20 lakh and below