Agri Business

Farm distress: Telangana’s food output drops as paddy area shrinks

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 11, 2017

Ground zero: Farmland turns barren following a prolonged dry spell in Ankshapur village in Telangana’s Nizamabad district   -  THE HINDU

Foodgrain output down 28.7% as paddy area shrinks

In the recent numbers released by the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB), Telangana stood second only to Maharashtra, with 1,400 farmers and farm labourers ending lives in the year 2015-16.

The State had accounted for nearly 10 per cent of all 12,000 farm suicides reported that year.

The latest numbers gathered by the Telangana government corroborated the serious distress in the farm sector.

The agriculture sector declined by 13.3 per cent in 2015-16. Obviously, this impacted the income levels of farmers, pushing them to the extreme step.

Hit by a second straight year of rainfall deficit, the State reported 14 per cent less rainfall than the average 713 mm. As a result, the government had declared 231 mandalsdrought hit.

According to the advance estimates released by the State’s Economics and Statistics Department, Telangana’s foodgrain production fell 28.72 per cent to 51.45 lakh tonnes against the average production of 72.18 per cent.

Though both the kharif and rabi seasons were hit by the adverse weather conditions, it is the disastrous rabi impact that dragged foodgrain production numbers down.

The rabi output was down by 42 per cent at 15 lakh tonnes against the normal production of 27 lakh tonnes as groundwater levels dropped because of deficient rainfall. The data compiled by the department showed that poor rainfall affected the area sown. “The gross area sown was down at 48.93 lakh hectares against the normal area of 53.51 lakh hectares, declining 7.94 per cent.

Shrinking acreage

While agriculture and its allied sectors had shown a decline of 1.1 per cent, the standalone agriculture sector declined by 13.3 per cent during the year.

Farmers had to cut down on the paddy area due to non-availability of water. The paddy area fell by 3.69 lakh ha to 10.46 lakh ha. The area under maize too saw a decline to 5.73 lakh ha from the average 7 lakh ha.

“The year (2015-16) was a difficult year for agriculture. The contribution of agriculture and allied sectors to the Gross Value Added at current prices is 14 per cent as against 16.1 per cent in 2011-12,” the report said.

Published on January 11, 2017
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