Hyderabad: Concern is growing in Andhra Pradesh with drastic fall in area cultivated under paddy because of deficit rainfall in the ongoing Kharif season.
As against the normal area of 26.48 lakh hectares, paddy cultivation has been taken up in only 9.40 lakh ha so far, triggering alarm bells about the fall in rice output from the state that is considered a rice bowl.
As many as 13 out of 23 districts in the state have recorded a deficit in rainfall ranging from 3 to 31 per cent since the start of the Kharif season on June 1.
The perennially drought-hit Anantapur district recorded a 31 per cent deficit rainfall followed by Nizamabad (24 per cent) and Nalgonda and Visakhapatnam (21 per cent each). Kurnool district got three per cent less than normal rain so far this season.
State Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy, Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana and Municipal Administration Minister M Maheedhar Reddy reviewed the situation with District Collectors through a video-conference from Hyderabad today and wanted the agriculture department to prepare farmers for taking up irrigated dry (ID) crops as an alternative.
"Prakasam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts have prepared contingency plans for taking up alternative crops in view of the deficit rainfall. Other districts where the rainfall is deficit (-20 to -59 per cent) or scanty (-60 to -99 per cent) too should encourage farmers to take up ID crops," the ministers told the Collectors.