Farmers from the Godavari delta have proved their mettle again by registering a record yield by using a very less quantum of water during the recent Rabi season. On an average, the paddy farmers from the delta have registered 40 bags of yield per acre, even as there was a shortfall of water by 25 per cent due to the drop in water levels in the Godavari.

In terms of finances, the farmers earned a sum of Rs.787.5 crore by transplanting the entire anicut and adopting efficient water management methods.

Though the officials initiated idea of providing irrigation to only 75 per cent of the command area keeping in view of the water levels in the Godavari, the delta farmers from the East and West Godavari districts have transplanted paddy in the entire 8.4 lakh acres and protected it from withering by adopting efficient water management system.

In the normal days, the farmers from the Godavari delta use one thousand million cubic feet (MCFT) of water to cultivate paddy in 6-7 acres. But, during the recent Rabi season, paddy had been cultivated in 12.87 acres with one MCFT of water. When it comes to the statistics, the delta farmers used 65.13 TMC of water to cultivate paddy in 10.13 lakh acres.

“We are happy with the output. In some areas, the famers registered even 45 bags of paddy per acre. On an average, it is 40 bags per acre in East Godavri district,” says D. Prameela, Joint Director of Agriculture. In East Godvari, paddy had been cultivated in about four lakh acres during the Rabi. Formation of cross bunds across the drains and lifting of water from the drains to their fields by using oil engines was the policy followed by the farmers’ unison.

“The irrigation officials too helped us by way of chalking out plans for water release, stopping water supply to the fish tanks during the transplantation period and coordinating the farmers for a better output,” says Kovvuri Trinadha Reddy, former general secretary of the A.P. State Farmers Water Management Committees Association. “The average production per acre is three tonnes and the minimum support price per tone is Rs. 12,500. Of the total 8.4 lakh acres, the total income is around Rs.3,150 crore in which 25 per cent is nothing but the result of proper water management,” he explains.