District Collector has deputed officials to persuade ryots to drop their plans to go out of the district in search of work

The authorities implementing the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in Krishna district have moved to prevent migration of farmers from villages in the Diviseema region.

Hundreds of families have already left their villages to eke out a living as agricultural labourers in both Godavari districts in the past couple of weeks, while the remaining families are getting ready to join them in the same work in the next two weeks. Amid the prevailing conditions, Krishna district Collector Buddha Prakash M. Jyothi, who toured Diviseema villages recently, deputed officials to persuade farmers to withdraw their migration plans. “The process of identifying the locations where these farmers had migrated to for kharif operations has begun. We are assessing the reasons for farmers being denied work under the NREGS,” Avanigadda Cluster NREGS Assistant Project Director P. Devananda Rao has told The Hindu. Officials confess that they could not predict the immediate affect of delay in providing work to the farmers, who sought work during the agricultural off season.

Delay in works

Delay in canal modernisation works directly impacted the rabi operations consecutively for two seasons in Avanigadda, Nagayalanka and Koduru mandals. Small, marginal and some tenant farmers have been forced to look for alternative livelihood options due to the sole reason of delay in completion of the modernisation project.

The period between post 2011 kharif and 2013 kharif is being considered as an unwritten agrarian crisis in Eastern parts of Krishna district – Diviseema. “We noticed the phenomenon of seasonal migration of farmers as this is the tail-end area of the Krishna river canals and lands here are yet to be promised of timely irrigation water to stop the migration,” says Krishna district Joint Collector P. Usha Kumari.

When contacted, Andhra Pradesh Rythu Coolie Sangham State president Simhadri Jhansi has cited delay in canal works as a cause for migration and wanted the government not let the situation go beyond its control.