Production declines from 13.56 lakh tonnes to under 11 lakh tonnes

Timely access to irrigation water pushed up the sowing of paddy, compared to the normal acreage in Krishna district in kharif 2013. But the yield is going to be less then what is expected -- the lowest since 2010.

Agriculture officials estimated that the total paddy production in this kharif season in Krishna district will be around 11 lakh tonnes instead of the yield of over 13.56 lakh tonnes.

Over two lakh tonnes of paddy has been damaged by cyclones – Helen, Phailin and Lehar.

Of the three cyclones that hit the State in quick succession, it was Helen that inflicted the maximum damage.

According to Agriculture department statistics, paddy was sown in 2.56 lakh hectares this year against the normal acreage of 2.55 lakh hectares.

Paddy hit badly

“The total production is likely to fall from 13.80 lakh tonnes to around 11 lakh tonnes.

At least paddy crop in 60,000 hectares was badly damaged and the farmers can’t even recover the grain from most of this area,” Krishna District Agriculture Department In-Charge Joint Director Balu Naik told The Hindu.

The stretch of coastal mandals from Kruthivennu to Nagayalanka, which falls under the eastern part of the Krishna district, is the most affected. However, the sowing operations in this part were delayed by two months.

For farmers in this region, kharif is the only crop in the absence of rabi due to irrigation water woes, particularly since 2010.

The cyclones have also badly impacted the dairy sector.

“The highest loss is of fodder. The demand for fodder will be very much in Krishna, the State’s largest milk producing district. There is no way to collect it from the paddy that has collapsed due to the winds,” said Mr. Balu Naik.