Andhra Pradesh

2019 a good year for Prakasam peasants

Farm activity in full swing at Dosakalapadu village, near Thallur, in Prakasam district.

Farm activity in full swing at Dosakalapadu village, near Thallur, in Prakasam district.   | Photo Credit: Kommuri Srinivas


Tobacco production rises by 15% this year on the back of a strong monsoon

The copious rains that the drought-prone Prakasam received in 2019 have helped farmers reap a rich harvest after a long dry spell of five years.

This year, farmers who shifted from tobacco to alternative crops once again grew the commercial crop in a big way as prices of bengal gram, the main pulse crop, remained low. Prakasam district, where rain-fed agriculture is widely prevalent, experienced sufficient rains this year and the crops required no additional life-saving irrigation as in previous years.

Farmers cultivated winter crops in 1.95 lakh hectares so far as against the normal 2.55 lakh hectares. The crop coverage was 99% with farmers taking up cultivation in 2.10 lakh hectares during the kharif season this year, as against 2.05 lakh hectares in 2018, explained Agriculture Joint Director P.V. Sriramamurthy.

“2019 has been a good year for farmers in terms of crop coverage as well as producitivity,” Mr. Sriramamurthy told The Hindu.

“We experienced hardships because of unfavourable weather conditions which affected both the productivity and quality of crops in the previous year. We are sure to recoup the losses in view of good quality crops including tobacco and bengal gram,” said farmers from Mangamooru village near Ongole.

“We hope to fetch good prices for tobacco as the crop has been good with low salinity,” said another group of farmers at Chekurapadu village near N.G. Padu in Prakasam district.

Record crop coverage

The grade outturn has also been highly encouraging, with bright grade accounting for more than 60% as against 25% in the previous year. Crop condition indicates that tobacco production may cross the 100 million kg mark this season, as against 85 million kg the previous season as the average productivity was 1,900 kg per hectare in the Southern Black Soil (SBS) region as against 1,600 kg per hectare during last year and 1,550 kg per hectare in the Southern Light Soil (SLS) region as against 1,300 kg per hectare in the previous year.

Red gram coverage stood at a record 125% during 2019 as ryots grew the pulse crop in over 98,000 hectares as against the normal of about 78,000 hectares. Farmers who have taken up chilli cultivation in over 25,000 hectares are now a happier lot with the price of the main crop touching the ₹15,000 per quintal mark.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:03:54 AM |

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