Agri Business

Telangana rains: Farmers demand relief for crop losses

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on October 21, 2020

(File photo) Farmers protest demanding compensation for crop loss due to recent rains in Sangareddy d istrict, Medak, Telangana   -  Mohd Arif

Farmers’ leaders estimate crop damage at over 20 lakh acres

Heavy rains over the past week have damaged crops in over 20 lakh acres in Telangana. Thousands of acres are still under flood water, posing a threat to the standing crops.

Though the State government has pegged the crop loss at about 13 lakh acres, causing a loss of ₹2,500 crore, farmers’ leaders have claimed that the loss could be much more as rainfall was widespread. “We estimate that losses could be around 20 lakh acres. Of this, cotton is the worst hit with crop in over 12 lakh acres — out of the 60 lakh acres — was inundated in flood waters,” T Sagar, Secretary of Telangana Rythu Sangham, told BusinessLine. “Paddy is reportedly damaged in about 7 lakh acres. This is followed by green gram and bengal gram in two lakh acres. The total loss should be around ₹5,000 crore,” said Sarampally Malla Reddy, Vice-President of All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS).

Impact on cotton

Ravi Kannekanti, Convener of Rythu Swarajya Vedika, said that cotton output would be adversely impacted. “The yields in most places will be down by half to 4-5 quintals an acre as against the expected 8-10 quintals,” he said.

He demanded the Telangana government to immediately order for renumeration of crop losses and estimate the damage. “The government should compensate them for the lost crops,” he said.

Unprecedented rains created havoc as the farmers expected a bumper crop this year. Farmers covered a record area of 1.30 crore acres, which is 30 per cent more than the area covered last Kharif. Following the government’s prescription under the Regulated Cropping system, they sowed cotton in 60 lakh acres (as against the last year’s 45 lakh acres) and paddy in 53 lakh acres, which is double than the normal paddy acreage of 27 lakh acres.

“Since they predominantly sowed cotton and paddy as per the orders of the government, the onus is on the government to compensate for the losses they suffered,” said Sagar.

He demanded the government to declare a compensation of ₹20,000 an acre for non-commercial crops and ₹40,000 an acre for commercial crops.

Published on October 21, 2020

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