Dried corn stalks in their hands, farmers Lingamma and Damodar Reddy narrated their tale of woes to the Telugu Desam party president, N. Chandrababu Naidu who called on them at their farm, two km away from here.
With rainfall less than average the crop dried up beyond revival, leaving the duo with no option but to clean up their land and go for a short-gestation sunflower crop. The worries did not end here as there is an acute shortage of quality seed even for the alternative crop, the two marginal farmers lamented. The two were among several others who poured out their problems to Mr. Naidu who visited drought-hit areas of the district.
Interestingly, even as Mr. Naidu’s convoy entered the district, it was greeted by drizzle which occasionally turned into short spells of rain. The showers notwithstanding, the damage to the standing crop was all there to be seen. Farmers are now looking at rains in the next week or so and seed so they can prepare ground afresh for another spell of sowings and hope for a good yield that will at least reduce their losses.
Addressing people at over half-a-dozen villages across Kalwakurthi Assembly constituency, Mr. Naidu said there was every need for Government to declare the entire Mahbubnagar district as drought-hit and come to the rescue of poor farmers.
Complete waiver of crop loans, fresh loans for taking up transplantation anew, quality seed and uninterrupted power supply were what would infuse confidence into the lives of farmers who were facing hardship due to acute shortage of drinking water, quality power, seed, fertiliser and pesticides, he demanded.
Earlier, at Thukkuguda in adjoining Ranga Reddy district, he was received by TDP leader Teegala Krishna Reddy. Mr. Naidu garlanded statues of B.R. Ambedkar and TDP founder NT Rama Rao before addressing road-side gatherings at Kandukur. He was accompanied by MLAs Ravula Chandrasekhara Reddy (Wanaparthy), Jaipal Yadav (Kalwakurthy) and N. Janardhan Reddy (Nagarkurnool) throughout his tour of the drought-hit district.