VISAKHAPATNAM: The present weather conditions and the expectation of the early onset of the monsoon have given rise to hope of good yield, particularly of paddy, in the ensuing kharif season that generally starts with the onset of the monsoon.
The weatherman has predicted that the monsoon will hit coastal Andhra Pradesh between June 10 and 15 this year.
Farmers and agriculture officials in the north coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram hope that the monsoon will bring timely rain, unlike the previous year during which farmlands did not receive rain even till the first week of July.
"The average rainfall of the three districts was 78.63 mm at the end of June 2012, against the normal rainfall of 127.73 mm. Cultivation has also started in only 78,000 hectares out of a total of 7.02 lakh hectares spread across 115 mandals in the three districts during the beginning of kharif-2012 because of the inactive monsoon then," explained a senior agriculture officer.
"Based on our experiences in agriculture, the present weather conditions and the news of an early onset of the monsoon as well as normal rainfall, we are able to set our hopes high, particularly about paddy, in the ensuing kharif season. We have made all arrangements to kickstart the cultivation soon after the monsoon starts," D Kurma Rao, joint director of the department of agriculture, Visakhapatnam, told TOI.
As many as 14 lakh farmers from 115 mandals in the three districts annually cultivate various types of crops, including paddy and maize, in the total 7.02 lakh hectares, according to sources. This year, agriculture officials have set a target of cultivating paddy in about 4.7 lakh hectares and other crops in the remaining agriculture land. Most of the farmers depend on monsoon rains and the 45,029 rain-fed agriculture tanks in north coastal Andhra Pradesh for cultivation.
"This time, the agriculture tanks were recharged at satisfactory level because of the recent rains following the thunderstorms and cumulonimbus clouds, which are common in summer because of rising temperature levels. After observing all these things, we hope that this kharif will give good respite to the farming community who have lost a major share of their crops in the last two years because of cyclone Nilam and drought 2011," opined a senior agriculture officer from Vizianagaram, K R L Arun Kumar. The government also officially declared 76 mandals out 115 as drought-hit in 2011.
AP State Tenant Farmers Welfare Association president B Balaram also said that the present weather conditions appear to be helping the farming community get good results.
Kumar said that Rs 12.4 crore was distributed among 70,100 farmers as input subsidy for losing crops because of the drought-2011 and also Rs 4.3 crore has been proposed to be distributed among 21,517 farmers who lost crops due to cyclone Nilam in November 2012. "We are yet to distribute the Rs 4.3 crore to the beneficiaries," Arun added.
Similarly, the agriculture officials in Visakhapatnam also distributed Rs 30.4 crore as input subsidy to nearly 1.47 lakh farmers who lost their crops due to the Nilam, informed Kurma Rao.
Weathermen predict onset of monsoon in June this year which has given hope to over 14 lakh farmers in 3 districts, who had lost their crop the last two years due to Nilam and drought.
Courtesy : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/visakhapatnam/Bumper-kharif-hope...