The release of the Godavari water at the “appropriate time” has enthused farmers to take up sowing of crop on a pace that has not been witnessed in these times of climate change.
Farmers in Krishna district have sown crop in nearly double the area that is normally covered in the first six weeks. Similarly, farmers of East Godavari have sown crop in 174% of normal area, in Srikakulam in over 161% and in West Godavari 143%.
With early flood in the Godavari river, water was released to the Godavari Delta on June 1, the day kharif season officially begins in the State. Within a week, the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme pumps were switched on and water was released to the Krishna Delta.
Though monsoon slowed down a little in the third week, it came back with a bang in the fifth and sixth weeks and registered “excess” rainfall in the coastal districts. The farmers of Srikakulam have taken advantage of the rainfall and have gone in for brisk sowing.
Agriculture Officer G.V. Siva Prasad told The Hindu that farmers in the State were in high spirits because water was released to both deltas at the “perfect” time. Krishna district was in top position in the issue of Certificate of Cultivation indicating that tenant farmers too have pinned their hopes on this season.
Krishna district issued cultivation certificates to 60,120 farmers followed by Guntur district which gave certification to 48,625 farmers and East Godavari is in the third position with 36,332 farmers being issued certification until now. Cultivation certification was given to 2,19,898 farmers in the 13 districts. The State government has set a target of issuing cultivation certification to 5.5 lakh farmers. These certificates would enable tenant farmers get loans from banks, Mr Siva Prasad explained. Crops have been sown in 7,93,969 hectares against the total target of 42.78 lakh hectares. Seeing the spirit of the farmers, the Agriculture Department is confident of achieving its target, Mr Siva Prasad said.
While the rainfall in South-Coastal Andhra is near normal, the heavy rainfall in North Coastal Andhra has pushed the average of Coastal Andhra into “excess” according to the Meteorology department norms.
In West Godavari district, paddy nurseries for 96% of the area to be sown were ready and in East Godavari district nurseries for 78% of the area were ready, according to the weekly bulletin released by the Commissionerate of Agriculture.