Drought Hits AP Hard

Dried Paddy Fields in Veerapuram Village ,Kothpalli Mandal, Kurnool District - Sakshi Post

Amarvathi: " Bleak, distressing and alarming'', is what the situation can be called in many districts in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Almost 80% of the mandals in the state are reeling under drought, according to unofficial records. In the Rayalaseema region with the monsoons failing, the groundnut crop has dried completely & withered with nothing left to salvage by the farmers. Cotton, Onion, Maize, Jowar grain fields along with tomato, chilli and other vegetable fields have dried completely and turned barren. Added to this, farmers are reeling under the burden of heavy debts taken for cultivation and are clueless as to how to repay these loans.The Kharif season which ended in September and the current Rabi season also shows no respite either for the farmer.

Inadequate rainfall

The continuous drought in the Kharif season has reduced the extent of irrigation and according official statistics, the average rainfall needed in the kharif season has reduced by 27.4%. YSR Kadapa, Prakasam, Nellore and Kurnool districts have seen deficit rainfall year by year, which is alarming.

The state which needed at least 689.4 mm of rainfall has received only 500.8 mm of rainfall. From 1st June barring Srikakulam, almost all districts have received scanty rainfall . That too because of Cyclone Titli ravaging Srikakulam in the second week of October 2018, it witnessed a surplus rains of 7.3%.

Severe Drought Across 3/4th of the State

According to meteorological statistics almost 3/4th of the state of Andhra Pradesh is reeling under severe drought. Out of the 670 mandals, in 470 mandals the required rainfall rate fell from 19-52.9 %. Barring Srikakulam almost all districts experienced low rainfall and for a place to be declared drought-hit it should have less than 19% of average rainfall, which is why 470 mandals are in the list of drought-hit places. Only 19 mandals in the state had surplus rains this year.

Government apathy towards farmers

When 470 mandals were declared drought-hit the state government declared only 296 mandals as affected by drought in the kharif season. It has completely neglected the welfare of the farmers . Last year they claimed to protect crops with rain guns but this year there was no mention or use of rain guns in drought prone areas.

Rs 2,250 Crore Investment Loss due to drought

It costs around Rs 15,000 to cultivate groundnut in one acre and in the September Kharif season 16.50 lakhs acres of land were cultivated, out of which the groundnut crop in 15 lakhs acres withered away. The farmers lost Rs 2,250 Crore which was invested for cultivating groundnut alone.

-In 2016 Kharif govt declared only 301 mandals as drought prone against the 450 mandals.

-In 2017 Kharif season till the 3rd week of August, 241 mandals were in the drought zone and because of the depression there was rainfall and the number reduced to 93 mandals. But the govt failed to declare the rest of the mandals as drought areas.

-In 2018, 470 mandals were under the drought prone areas but the government declared only 296 mandals as drought hit.

- In 2016, due to non-cultivation in more than 38.62 Hectares of land , 301 mandals were declared severely drought hit. In 2018 the government has failed to declare the mandals under drought, even though the numbers had doubled.

12 districts with deficit rainfall in Rabi season

In the current Rabi season in the state of Andhra Pradesh (which is between October 1 and 20 ) , the average Deficit rainfall was 65%, Coastal Andhra at 61% & Rayalaseema 74% deficit rainfall was recorded. These statistics revealed that drought was intense in the Rabi Season when compared to the Kharif. The rainfall recorded in these 21 days was less than 65% .

-In 9 districts in the Coastal Andhra area, out of the 109.6 MM rainfall required only 43.2 mm rainfall was recorded.

- In Rayalaseema, out of the required 78 mm required rainfall only 20.1 mm rainfall was registered which was 74% lesser. In Srikakulam because of the Titli Cyclone there was excess rainfall of 60% rainfall recorded and in other 12 districts there was very little rainfall received.

Also Read:In Rajasthan’s Drought Hit Baran, Children Turn Green Agents

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