Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh: Godavari floods sow seeds of sorrow in tribal habitations

A farmer showing sprouted paddy seed he had stored, at flood-hit Mukunuru village in Alluri Sitarama Raju district.

A farmer showing sprouted paddy seed he had stored, at flood-hit Mukunuru village in Alluri Sitarama Raju district. | Photo Credit: T. APPALA NAIDU

A Koya tribal farmer, Beeraboyina Ramakrishna, wades through the floodwater to reach his collapsed thatched house at Mukunur village in Alluri Sitarama Raju district. 

Some 160 families in the village have borne the brunt of the Godavari floods as the habitation falls in the Polavaram project submergence area. Their houses have reduced to mounds of rubble now.

Even as the floodwater is gradually receding, the residents, a majority of them dependent on agriculture, returning to their homes to salvage whatever they can. The villagers had stored the seeds of various crops, especially paddy, harvested during the previous seasons in their houses.

“I had some 15 bags of paddy, seven bags of pulses, beans and sesame stored inside the house. All of it has been spoiled by floodwater. Neither can those be used as seeds nor be consumed. Those are of no use now. I have to dump those all,” says a teary-eyed Mr. Ramakrishna, adding that his family, which cultivates 11 acres of land, has lost the entire stick of food grains and seeds to the flood. 

The situation of another Koya farmer, Kunja Bojji, is no different. “I own 11 acres of land. I had to dump the entire stock seeds of four crops. Those were spoiled in the floodwater,” he laments.

In this Koya habitation nestled between the Sabari river and the Sokileru stream, almost every family has a similar story to share. They all are forced to dump their yields.

The swelling Godavari has thrown the normal life out of gear in the entire Koya belt, while its tributary Sabari, which is in spate, is adding top the woes. 

“We cannot used the spoiled seeds as cattle feed as it may lead to infections. Days after the flood, the spoiled crop yields are raising a stink. It is posing a threat to our health too,” says Mr. Kunja Bojji. 

When this Correspondent visited the village on July 23, spoiled stock of seeds were found in almost every household. A majority of the Koya farmers own bullock-carts but they could not shift the seed stock in the wake of flash flood. 

“In June last week, we celebrated three-day ‘Bhumi Puja, marking commencement of the kharif season. Now, we have lost everything to flood. We do not have seed stock to sow after the water recedes,” says Kunja Sai Kumar, a Koya woman. 

The farmers in this village also grow chilli and collect Mahua nuts to extract oil. Spoiled stocks of chilli and Mahua nuts were found everywhere in the village. 

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2022 9:15:41 pm |