Farmers of Krishna, Godavari districts and Guntur have been at the receiving end

In May 2010 it was Laila, followed by Jal in November that year, in November 2012 it was Nilam, in October it was Phailin and followed by Helen in November and in all these cyclones farmers of Krishna, Guntur, Nellore, East and West Godavari districts were the worst affected. Every year since 2010, the State was affected by at least one major cyclone, except for 2011-12. During that year the farmers of West and East Godavari, Krishna and Guntur, had, however, announced a crop holiday. So going by the statistics the farmers of Krishna, Godavari districts and Guntur had been at the receiving end for last four years, said Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Member M. V. S. Nagireddy.

While Laila destroyed 26,685 hectares of standing crop, JAL had affected 4.8 lakh hectares, Nilam damaged 7.2 hectares, Phailin affected 3.24 lakh hectares and Helen had flattened 3.5 lakh hectares of standing crop. Most of the cyclones have hit the coast during the month of November, the prime period of harvest for the Kharif season, said Mr. Nagi Reddy.

“This year the crop was very good, be it chillies, cotton, vegetables or paddy. We expected a good harvest and dreamt of clearing our earlier losses caused by Nilam and Laila. But our dreams were first washed away by Phailin in October and then devastated with Helen,” said Bhavanam Jayarami Reddy an award wining farmer from Peda Kurapadu mandal in Guntur district. While Phailin destroyed chilly, cotton and vegetable crops, Helen flattened standing paddy. “At least 30 to 50 per cent of the paddy is flattened,” he said.

Bandaru Srinivasa Rao another award wining farmer from Pamarru in Krishna district said that he lost about 50 per cent of his paddy crop. “On what is to be done?”

Mr. Nagi Reddy pointed out that there was only one way out. “The agro-based research institutes should develop crop with more dormancy period. We need to move from high yielding variety to high resistance variety, as we do not have any control over natural calamities, and this will be recurring more frequently due to the global climate change,” said Mr. Nagi Reddy.