Staff Reporter

Delay in monsoon dampens farmers’ spirits

Sowing done in just 20,000 hectares due to rain delay

Estimated crop area increased to 5,83,362 hectares

GUNTUR: Pre-kharif operations are in full swing in the district with the department of agriculture gearing up to distribute fertilizer stocks to farmers. Meanwhile, bankers were also planning to disburse crop loans in a month-long crop loan mela beginning from June 15.

The spirits of the farmers however continue to be dampened by the delay in the arrival of South-West monsoon and with the levels in all reservoirs plummeting to a record low, farmers are pinning their hopes on a good spell of rain to bail them out.

According to the revised estimates prepared by the Department of Agriculture, the district needs 1.22 lakh metric tonnes of urea and 65,466 metric tonnes of di-ammonium phosphorous (DAP). This was against requirement for the year 2008 which stood at 1.07 lakh mt of urea and 44,147 mt of DAP. Considering the huge backlash of farmers due to short supply of fertilisers in the year 2008, the Agriculture Department is leaving no stone unturned to ensure sufficient stocks of fertilizers were at their disposal.

“Our requirement is pegged at 1.11 lakh mt for this kharif and we have already sent proposals to the State Government,” Joint director of Agriculture department I. Rama Krishna Murthy said on Friday.

The delay in monsoon resulted in farmers completing sowing operations in just 20,000 hectares out of the estimated crop area of 5.83 lakh hectares.

With the prospects of a record grain production this year too, the total estimated crop area has been increased to 5,83,362 hectares, out of which foodgrains would be cultivated in 2.79 lakh hectares, pulses in 3.10 lakh hectares and oil seeds in 2.20 lakh hectares.

Paddy cultivation would be taken up in 2.76 lakh hectares, cotton in 1.55 lakh hectares, chillies in 56,033 hectares, red gram in 26,922, turmeric in 4,827 hectares.