Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Farmers’ hopes shattered

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PNS|Guntur

Paddy farmers in Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra districts have borne the brunt of heavy rains under the influence of the Mandous cyclonic storm as the harvested paddy produce and the crop are badly damaged.

The paddy harvest is in full swing in the State. In most of the districts, the harvest of paddy has begun and in some other places the farmers left their harvested produce in their fields itself. In some areas, the farmers dried the harvested paddy produce on their fields and on the roads to reduce moisture content.

In Palnadu, Bapatla, and Guntur a few spells of showers occurred on Friday but on Saturday heavy rains occurred in many places.

The farmers were seen covering the paddy produce, which they dumped on the fields and roads for drying, with plastic sheets. The farmers, who left their harvested paddy in the fields, have borne the brunt as the produce is being soaked in rainwater.

Paddy farmers said that they have been facing difficulty selling their paddy produce for the last few days. Adding to their woes, the untimely rain shattered their hopes of getting remunerative prices. The farmers lamented that if the paddy produce is soaked in water for a couple of days, they start sprouting. If the paddy produce is drenched in water it loses its colour which forces the farmers to sell their produce at a cheaper price.

Official sources said that in Eluru district, paddy was cultivated in the Kharif on over 2.29 lakh acres of which harvest has been completed in 1.66 lakh acres and 1.40 lakh tonnes of paddy produce has been purchased from the farmers so far. However, the farmers are yet to take up the harvest of paddy on about 60,000 acres.

In Palandau and Bapatla, the maize crop in over 900 acres is in the sprouting stage and the heavy rain would wither the crop. The chilli crop on over 1200 acres is in the flowering and budding stage and the rain damaged the crop, some farmers in Narasaraopet mandal lamented. The leaders of various farmers’ unions appealed to the government to announce compensation for crop loss and disburse it immediately.

In the Eluru district, paddy crops including paddy, green gram, and cotton were damaged in 118 villages in 16 mandals. Official sources said that as per the preliminary estimation paddy nurseries were damaged in 1300 acres, black gram crop damage in 360 acres.

As rain continues to occur in the district, crop damage is likely to be higher than estimated. Horticulture crops including plantain and papaya were damaged in Kadapa district and the exact extent of crop loss would be enumerated after rains recede, agriculture officials said.

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