By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Even as the farmers in the State were dealing with the damage to Kharif crops due to heavy rains during October mid-week, fag end of monsoon, heavy rains that lashed for 2-3 days under the influence of Cyclone Nivar, has broken the back of farmers this time, particularly in Krishna and Godavari delta regions.

Paddy, cultivated extensively during Kharif suffered major damage and in the preliminary damage reports, it was estimated that 3.24 lakh hectares of crop was damaged in the brief spell of heavy rains. The total crop loss is estimated to be around 4.91 lakh hectares. 

Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu, who took stock of the situation, asked the officials to submit the final report of crop loss by December 10 and pay compensation by December 31. Officials and staff of the agriculture department and horticulture department are visiting each and every mandal to enumerate losses and the farmers with distressed faces are explaining the losses they sustained. Most of them were ready to harvest their crops. 

“Heavy rains were unexpected and it came at a time when the farmers were ready to harvest their crop. Drenched in heavy rains and due to water logging, paddy crop has suffered damage in Krishna delta,” explained Andhra Pradesh State Agriculture Mission vice-chairman MVS Nagi Reddy. He, along with officials, has been visiting different parts of Krishna and Guntur districts since Saturday. 

According to him, farmers are worried about selling their crop, the quality of which was affected due to heavy rains. In most cases, it is expected to be below the FAQ (Fair Average Quality) norms issued by the Food Corporation of India (FCI), which are uniform for the entire country. Farmers want the FAQ norms to be relaxed in view of heavy rains. 

The State government has already paid input subsidy for the crop losses during June to September and again in October. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had conducted an aerial survey of the cyclone-hit areas and took stock of the crop damage due to cyclone-induced heavy rains. He announced to pay input subsidy for the crop losses in November and December. Further, the State government decided to procure cotton and groundnut.

164 paddy purchase centres set up in Guntur
Guntur: In order to extend a helping hand to farmers who have suffered losses due to heavy rains under the influence of Cyclone Nivar, the State government has set up 164 paddy purchase centres across the district. Joint Collector Dinesh Kumar said these purchase centres will be linked to 681 Rythu Bharosa Kendras. He said the government will provide Rs 1,888 per quintal for A grade variety of paddy and Rs 1,868 for general variety. He advised the farmers not to sell their produce to middlemen.

Crops in 1,33,444 ha damaged in Guntur
Guntur: The 10 special officers appointed by Collector I Samuel Anand Kumar to estimate crop loss, visited 478 villages in 42 mandals across the district. According to the preliminary estimation, paddy crop in 1,31,704.26 hectares, black gram in 837.55 hectares, green gram in 94 hectares, groundnut in 141 hectares, maize in 176 hectares, cotton in 296 hectares, bengal gram in 177.2 hectares, red gram in 18 hectares and chilli in 2,475.72 hectares were damaged due to Cyclone Nivar. 

Crop loss in Prakasam pegged at Rs 192.92 cr 
Ongole: Prakasam district suffered crop loss worth Rs 192.92 crore due to Cyclone Nivar as per preliminary estimation. Standing crops in 98,000 hectares were damaged in the district. Similarly, 260-km length of roads were damaged in the district causing Rs 65.7 crore loss. Power infrastructure was also badly affected in the district causing Rs 1.02 crore loss. Many electric poles collapsed and 132 substations were inundated. The fisheries department suffered a loss of Rs 13.75 lakh.

Bhairavakona temple inundated in floodwater, devotees urged to postpone visit to shrine
Ongole: Bhairavakona temple was closed as floodwater entered the temple premises due to heavy rains in the past few days. Prakasam police cautioned the devotees against visiting the shrine on Karthika Pournami as the approach road was closed due to landslides. Every year, devotees in large numbers throng Bhairavakona, the abode of Trimuka Durga Sametha Bhairaveswara Swamy during Karthika Masam. The historic temple is an archaeologists’ delight with numerous rock cut temples chiselled in the 7th century AD. “Due to the inundation of temple complex and closure of approach road following landslides, we request the devotees from Prakasam and Nellore districts to postpone their visit to the temple,” Kanigiri CI Venkateswara Rao said. 


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