HYDERABAD: The previous week’s heavy rains had flooded vast stretches of agricultural lands in 17 districts of Telangana. Farmers from Asifabad, Adilabad, Mancherial, Kamareddy, Karimnagar and Nizamabad districts are staring at unimaginable losses, according to the preliminary inputs obtained by the Agricultural Department.
In Mancherial district alone, water-logging was reported in 6,864 acres, which included 5,099 acres of cotton, 1,447 acres of paddy and 312 acres of chilly. Paddy cultivation was done in 3 lakh acres of the total estimated cultivable area of 6 lakh acres in Karimnagar, while cotton was cultivated in 1.5 lakh acres. Water-logging was reported in many areas here. The floods have damaged crops across 2,791 acres in eight mandals of Jagital as well.
Crops in low-lying areas of Khammam too have suffered the consequences of heavy rains. While water-logging was reported in fields located close to irrigation projects in the northern Telangana region, flooding of crops due to breach of irrigation canals and minor irrigation tanks was prevalent in Jogulamba Gadwal and Narayanpet of southern Telangana as well.
According to a senior official of the Agriculture Department, water-logging may not always result in crop damage, considering the fact that water has begun receding. The official stated that their immediate priority would be to educate farmers about what needed to be done to save their crops. As cotton crop may be susceptible to fungal infections due to water-logged conditions, agricultural officers, after diagnosis, may suggest appropriate measures to ensure recovery.
The officials have not enumerated the crop damage yet. However, activists have been demanding that the State government compensate the farmers for their losses. “Since 2014 (except 2015-16), enumeration of crop damage has not been done in Telangana. This year, due to the sale of spurious seeds and flooding, there has been a loss of `800 crore to farmers,” said S Malla Reddy, vice-president, All-India Kisan Sabha.