Andhra Pradesh

Rain dampens spirits of Prakasam farmers

Heavy rain leaves a tobacco farm in a sheet of water at Tangutur in Prakasam district.

Heavy rain leaves a tobacco farm in a sheet of water at Tangutur in Prakasam district.   | Photo Credit: Kommuri Srinivas

Tobacco crop the worst-hit; 15% drop in output feared

Farmers in Prakasam district were hoping for a good harvest following bountiful rains this year after a gap of five years, but the untimely rains during this month have put paid to their hopes of getting decent returns.

Tobacco farmers in the drought-prone district were the worst affected as the incessant rains disrupted picking of leaves in almost all areas coming under the Southern Black Soil (SBS) and Southern Light Soil (SLS) auction platforms.

The wet spell damaged the crop in the Tangutur, Kandukur and Kanigiri areas where the farmers went for a late crop. “Now we have no option but to go for re-plantation,” lamented a group of farmers in Tangutur.

“Even if we replant, the grade outturn will be affected,” said M. Satynarayana Reddy, a farmer, after taking stock of the condition of the crop. “This year also, we will be saddled with more of low grade and greens,” he added.

It was estimated that the production, which was expected to cross the 100-million kg-mark, would come down by about 15 million kg, Indian Tobacco Association (ITA) sources said.

Those who went for Bengal gram, the other main commercial crop during the rabi season, were equally affected as the coastal mandals received more than 7 cm rainfall in a short span of time.

‘Unusual phenomenon’

Paddy growers also had sleepless nights as their paddy fields got submerged.

“We are hoping against hope for rain to abate,” said a group of farmers in Santamagaluru village. It is almost after 10 years that heavy rain occurred in the month of January, pointed out K. Srinivasa Rao, a farmer, who was busy protecting heaps of freshly-harvested paddy.

Bengal gram in 4,000 hectares were damaged in the district as also paddy in 3,000 hectares, according to reports received from different parts of the district. Agriculture Joint Director P.V. Sriramamurthy said the wet spell disrupted harvesting operations in 1,300 hectares.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 11:55:11 AM |

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