Economy

Power crisis added to AP farmers' woes this kharif

K. V. Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on March 12, 2018

Diesel to the rescue: A diesel generator pressed into service to pump water from a tanker to irrigate a cotton farm in Pregyapur in Medak district. — Photo: P.V. Sivakumar   -  Business Line

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Crops turned dry on 11 lakh hectares; Telangana worst hit

Nothing went right for farmers in Andhra Pradesh this kharif season. More so for those in the Telangana region where a majority of them resort to rain-fed farming. Crop in an extent of 11 lakh hectares has dried up not just in Telangana but in different parts of the State.

The exact extent of loss, however, would be known after a survey the Government plans after the general strike ends. Though officials in the Agriculture Department admit this, they fall short of explaining the reason. The 28-day general strike in the Telangana region has had an indirect impact on the situation. Power situation worsened following a strike in the Singareni Collieries that hit coal supplies to thermal power stations. This has led to power cuts, leaving the fields without water. Farmers' organisations and the Opposition blame the Government for not acting in time to procure more power to augment supply and bail them out.

Acute power shortage was not the only problem the farmers faced. It only accentuated their woes. First, they had to wait patiently for the pricing of cottonseed after erratic monsoon delayed sowing. Then, they had to cope with bouts of dry spells and shortage of fertilisers. “Groundnut, maize, redgram and castor are worst hit. Relatively cotton is better off,” Mr Rama Rao, General Secretary of AP Rythu Sangham, a CPI (M)-affiliated farmers' organisation, told Business Line.

“Overall kharif has not been optimistic so far. Crops under borewells were hit. The situation in Telangana is worse. The fate of farmers in uplands of coastal areas too hangs in balance,” Mr P. Chengal Reddy, Secretary-General of Consortium of Indian Farmers' Associations, said.

He pointed out that any adverse results in kharif in the State would not disturb the country's overall food kitty keeping in view bumper output projections. A good number of farmers in East and West Godavari districts have announced ‘crop holiday' protesting against lacklustre returns.

Published on October 14, 2011

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