ANDHRA PRADESH

Rain revives kharif farm activity in district

G.V. Prasada Sarma

It is still reeling under a 40 per cent deficit rainfall for Aug.



Agency is ahead in transplantation

If more rain materialises the district may benefit from it



VISAKHAPATNAM: The rain during the last few days has revived the hopes of farmers hit by the dry spell owing to the inadequate rain received under the southwest monsoon.

The recent rains have led to raising nurseries again and direct sowing (called broadcasting) by farmers under kharif in some mandals of the district.

It is an improvement on the bleak scenario a fortnight ago with transplantation completed only in 4 per cent of the area in the Plains and some mandals like Payakaraopeta not sowing crop at all.

“Now the recent rain has improved prospects and farmers are beginning to raise nurseries and direct sowing in G. Madugula, Ravikamatam and Payakaraopeta,” said an official of the Agriculture Department. But for the crop to grow and survive another one or two heavy spells of rain are required, he cautioned.

As of now, the district is still reeling under a 40 per cent deficit rainfall for August. Against 196.5 mm of normal rainfall for the month, the actual rainfall received was 110 mm. But it’s still a vast improvement over the 19.5 mm in the second week of the month.

Bleak scenario

The agency area that generally receives more rainfall is ahead as far as transplantation is concerned. Of the 42,000 ha in which transplantation has been carried out in the district, 35,000 ha is in the agency area. The present farming activity of direct sowing and fresh nurseries is estimated to cover 40 per cent of the remaining area. That comes to slightly more than 20,000 ha. And it still leaves a yawning gap between the normal area of 93,736 ha and the sown and transplanted area in the present Kharif.

Even in the irrigated area under projects, the situation is not encouraging. Sources said only in 5,000 ha of the 26,000 ha under projects had been covered so far under the kharif. With weathermen predicting more rain, the only hope appears to be that if it materialises the district known for late sowing may benefit from it.

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