There was abundant rainfall and all irrigation projects including major, medium and minor were filled to the brim. Besides, the groundwater table was also recharged considerably. Yet, the farmers were unable to take up cultivation this rabi and the reason cited was the cash crunch following demonetisation.
The farmers of the district, who were reeling under acute drought conditions for the last few years, heaved a sigh of relief with the arrival of good monsoon in the khariff season. They had good yield for crops such as maize, cotton and paddy and secured money from traders which was credited into their bank accounts.
However, with the demonetisation there was a cash crunch in various banks in the rural areas and the farmers were unable to withdraw cash due to the norms stipulated by the government. Despite a long wait at the bank they could manage to get cash ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000 per day.
The farmers who expected a bumper harvest following good monsoon, sowed paddy nurseries for cultivating. But, due to shortage of cash, they were unable to take up plantation of paddy nurseries as they were not in a position to pay wages to the labourers.
According to statistics available with the Agriculture Department, paddy was cultivated only in 8,902 hectares against normal area of cultivation in 54,827 hectares in bifurcated Karimnagar district.
A farmer Prabhakar Rao from Vemulawada mandal said that the money earned by selling the khariff crop was deposited in the banks and they were unable to withdraw as per the requirement to take up rabi season following the restrictions and cash crunch. “The cultivation of paddy had come down drastically in all villages in spite of availability of water sources and nine hours of free power. The traders are not giving the fertilizer on credit”, he complained.