D.K. Kishan Rao
Crops on 90 per cent of the sown area hit
Raichur: This year's drought during kharif season has adversely affected production of oilseed, especially of the sunflower, in the district.
Sunflower and groundnut are the major oilseed crops cultivated in the district during all the three seasons in a year.
These crops are taken up on a large scale during kharif and rabi, and on a small scale during summer.
Of the net sown area of about three lakh hectares in the district, nearly 50 per cent is under the cultivation of sunflower and groundnut. Sunflower is the major crop, cultivated on a large scale both on dry and irrigated belts, overtaking paddy and groundnut.
A decade back, necrosis disease and unremunerative prices as a result of large-scale import of cheap edible oils into the country, had brought down the area under sunflower cultivation.
But its cultivation has been on the rise in the past six years.
During the previous year, the crop was raised on about 2.78 lakh hectares covering kharif, rabi and summer seasons with a production of nearly 1.50 lakh tonne of sunflower seeds.
But the production of sunflower seeds has come down drastically during this year's kharif.
The sunflower was raised on about 1.25 lakh hectares during this kharif and the expected production was 1.48 lakh tonne of sunflower seeds. But the standing crop was affected on about 90 per cent of the sown area owing to failure of rain.
However, the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) here has been registering a constant arrival of sunflower seeds since this month. On an average, daily about 2,500 quintals of sunflower seeds reach the market. It was about 3,000 quintals per day in the corresponding period last year.
The managers of the committee says that though the crop failed in the district, farmers from the neighbouring districts of Andhra Pradesh such as Maktal and Gadwal bring huge quantities of sunflower seeds here as the market ensured prompt payment to farmers.