Friday, December 1, 2023

Farmers in dilemma as threat of cyclones looms dasari srinivas

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With the recent drastic changes in weather conditions over the past two days in Krishna and NTR districts, farmers are grappling with fear and uncertainty regarding the ongoing paddy harvesting. As cyclone threats loom, the potential for heavy rains has left farmers concerned about substantial losses.
During the ongoing Kharif season, farmers in both districts cultivated paddy across approximately 2.50 lakh hectares. Paddy harvesting commenced a few days ago in various areas, and there is a planned acceleration in harvesting and procurement within the next week.
However, the unpredictable climate poses a significant threat to these plans.
Numerous areas in the Krishna and NTR districts have paddy crops ready for harvest. The looming cyclone raises the risk of unharvested crops falling to the ground and getting wet, leading to high moisture content. This, in turn, could jeopardize farmers’ chances of receiving the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their paddy production. The state government typically refrains from purchasing paddy grains with excessive moisture, in adherence to established norms.
The Agriculture Department anticipates the production of around 12 lakh tons of paddy grains in these districts during the current Kharif season. However, this projection may be compromised if heavy rains materialize. The Meteorological Department has forecasted rain in the coming days, particularly along the coastal regions.
Officials from the Agriculture Department highlight the brisk pace of paddy harvesting in key mandals such as Pamarru, Vuyyuru, Pamidimukkala, Penamaluru, Vijayawada Rural, and others in the Krishna and NTR districts. However, they express concerns about the potential impact of rain during the drying period after harvesting. The moisture absorption could lead to severe losses for farmers.
In response to these challenges, NTR district Agriculture Officer S Naga Manemma has issued a cautionary statement. Speaking to ‘The Pioneer,’ she urged farmers to stay informed about the impending rain along the sea coast. In light of this, she advised farmers to postpone paddy harvesting for a few days. For those who have already initiated harvesting, she emphasized the need to protect the grains from rain.
Naga Manemma stressed the importance of farmers monitoring climate change before commencing harvesting activities. She recommended that farmers take precautionary measures in consultation with Agricultural Officers to navigate the uncertainties posed by the weather.

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