Andhra Pradesh

‘Gaja’ brings cheer to tobacco growers in Prakasam district

Tobacco cultivation being taken up in full swing at Marlapadu village, near Tangutur, in Prakasam district.

Tobacco cultivation being taken up in full swing at Marlapadu village, near Tangutur, in Prakasam district.   | Photo Credit: KommuriSrinivas

Weather system provides life-saving irrigation water to standing crop

Cyclonic storm ‘Gaja’ has come as boon for tobacco growers in drought-prone Prakasam district to complete transplantation in the last fortnight in the traditional tobacco growing areas coming under Southern Light Soil(SLS) and Southern Black Soil (SBS) auction platforms.

Farmers, who had a bad crop in the last three years due to prolonged dry spell, are expecting to make good the losses at least this year as the weather system, which had caused devastation in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, provided life-saving irrigation water to standing winter tobacco crop grown by enterprising farmers by pressing into service water tankers to water plant by plant in the early phase in the absence of rains.

“As a result tobacco production may overshoot by about 5 % as against the crop size of 84 million kg for SLS and SBS regions if the climatic condition continues to favour the farmers,” the Indian Tobacco Association sources here said.

“Now we can heave a sigh of relief,” said a group of farmers in Chekurupadu village, near N.G. Padu, who had taken up the export-oriented commercial crop much against odds in view of water shortage in the early phase of northwest monsoon season.

“Initial curings indicated a favourable grade outturn this year,” they said while speaking to The Hindu.

The farmers had transplanted tobacco seedlings in over 26,000 hectares as against the permitted 23,295 hectares in the SLS region by the Tobacco Board and in 22,924.80 hectares in the SBS region as against the licensed 22,705 hectares.

‘Pump out water’

Meanwhile, SBS Regional Manager G.Umamaheswara Rao urged farmers to pump out any stagnant water in their farms in view of prediction by weather officials of fresh wet spell between December 15 and 17. ‘’About 80% of the cropped area got sufficient rains,” he added.

SLS Regional Manager K.Sudhakar exhorted the growers to practise integrated pest management(IPM) and pesticides to avoid rejection of consignments by overseas buyers on account of pesticide residue.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 10:52:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/gaja-brings-cheer-to-tobacco-growers-in-prakasam-district/article25700260.ece

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