With the rainfall being scanty in the current month, kharif paddy prospects have dimmed and a contingency plan is readied. With the rainfall being somewhat encouraging in July, paddy nurseries have been sown. But 70 per cent of them are drying up for want of water. Against a normal area of 93,000 ha paddy, transplantation has taken place only in 2,097 ha in the plain area of the district. In the agency area, against a normal of 44,000 ha transplantation has been completed in 29,676 ha. But about 11,000 ha of it is withering away.
What worsened the situation is the poor rainfall in the wake of the weak monsoon in August. Against a normal of 197 mm, the rainfall so far received is a mere 19.5 mm.
The Agriculture Department has readied a contingency plan with a sizeable increase in the area of pulses and paddy with short duration varieties.
With red gram scarce and a jump in the demand, the plans include increasing area under it.
The normal area under red gram in the district is 1,804 ha, and so far it has been sown in 1,360 ha. An additional 1,555 ha is proposed to be brought under red gram with a provision to supply seed on subsidy.
A quantity of 125 quintals of seed is requisitioned from the government.
Short duration paddy varieties are also suggested for 23,000 ha. Besides, a huge increase in the area under pulses, particularly black gram and green gram, is planned. The normal area is a mere 2,200 ha. The contingency plan wants to increase it to 15,000 ha. The other alternatives suggested in the remaining area are ragi, maize and rajma.