Agri Business

Water, power shortage hit rabi sowing in AP

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on December 23, 2011


Farmers in Andhra Pradesh, who lost kharif season due to drought, and pinned hopes on rabi too seemed to have no relief. They are on the verge of losing rabi too with the State witnessing severe shortages of water and power.

The situation is so alarming that the State Government has declared about 900 mandals in a total of 1,125 mandals as drought-hit. About 16 districts received almost no rainfall following failure of North-East monsoon. The deficit was put at 53 per cent below the normal figure of 222 mm and last year's 332 mm.

Almost all major reservoirs reported severe drop in water levels. Storage of water in Srisailam Reservoir stood at 153 tmc as against last year's 255 tmc and that of Nagarjunasagar put at 243 tmc (396 tmc). Other reservoirs in the State and neighbouring States fared no better, leaving fields parched across the State.

Figures available with Ministry of Agriculture s on December 21 show near normal sowing of coarse grains. But these figures could be deceptive. Crops in lakhs of acres are starving for water. Even in the places where water available, farmers are not able to draw because of lack of power. Quality of power too is a big issue.

Oilseed segment has taken the maximum impact as it reported sowings only in half of the average as-on-date 4.68 lakh hectares.

Official figures put paddy sowings at 88 per cent (2.46 lakh ha) of normal sowings and 107 per cent that of maize (1.78 lakh ha).

But farmers' leaders pooh-poohed the Government claims. “They are trying to mislead. Ground level realities are completely different. How can they grow crops, if there are no rains at all,” Mr Rama Rao, Secretary of CPM-affiliated Rythu Sangham, told Business Line.

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Published on December 23, 2011
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