Amaravati: Crops spread over several thousands of acres have been damaged in the heavy rains triggered by cyclonic storm Nivar. While farmers in Krishna, East Godavari, West Godavari, Anantapur, and Guntur districts had lost crops during the massive rains in September, Nivar damaged the standing crops in Prakasam, Nellore, Chittoor and Kadapa districts.
The incessant rains just before the harvest shattered the hopes of farmers in the Krishna delta of reaping a bumper crop.
The agriculture department in its report to the state cabinet, which met here on Friday, said crops on about 70,000 acres were damaged. The report, based on preliminary calculations, said paddy was damaged on about 40,000 acres, black gram on about 17,000 acres, cotton on 8,000 acres and other crops on about 6,000 acres.
The preliminary report does not contain details of crop damage from Guntur district. “Chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed officials to start enumeration of crop damage without delay and we are here to provide full relief to farmers,” said agriculture minister Kurasala Kannababu.
According to field reports, paddy fields witnessed near uprooting of the plants. Normally, paddy can withstand rains for three days during the early stage of cultivation. It could not survive the rain this time as the crop had almost reached the harvest stage. Field-level officials are worried that damages could be much bigger as Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore and Chittoor districts have reported huge losses.
“I did not expect this much of damage at the final stage of harvest,” said Mangalagiri legislator Alla Ramakrishna Reddy, who lost his standing paddy crop.
Paddy farmers are likely to witness a loss of nearly Rs 60, 000 to Rs 80,000 per acre while cotton farmers are set to lose nearly Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 per acre.
Industries minister Mekapati Gautham Reddy, who represents Nellore district in the cabinet, reviewed damages with officials of Nellore and Chittoor districts.
In Krishna district, paddy farmers are also staring at loss following heavy rainfall since Wednesday evening.
“We were about to harvest the crop by December 10. Despite rains, we had a good crop this year and were anticipating profits but now our crops are submerged,” said M Ranga Babu a farmer from Challapalli.
Farmers in Nandigama, Jaggiahpet, Kanchikacherla, Chatrai and other upland areas who cultivate cotton also said untimely rains had ruined the crop. “These rains will affect the quality of cotton and as a result, we will get a poor market price,” said Chepupati Kranti, a farmer from Ghaniathkuru village.