According to Ram Kaundinya, director general of the Federation of Seed Industry of India, the area under horticulture crops in the state might be lower this year as farmers couldn’t make any money in the previous season.
In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, good rains since the beginning of the kharif season
have triggered brisk agriculture activity.
Till last week, Telangana received 69 per cent more than normal rainfall that has led to a sharp jump in the acreage of kharif crops.
Last year, in the first 15 days of June, around 63,280 acres were sown, while in 2020 it has jumped to 1.14 million acres with almost 77 per cent under one crop — cotton.
Paddy transplantations will take a little more time to pick up in the region. Neighbouring Andhra Pradesh recorded 61.3 mm of rains between June 1-17, which is almost normal.With paddy being mostly grown under the canal system in Andhra Pradesh, the transplantations will start once the water is released into canals in the Krishna and Godavari delta regions.
Farmers have prepared nurseries while the transplantations are expected to start from next month, said officials.
The state government has set up ‘Raitu Bharosa’ centres in each village to supply seeds and fertilizers, besides providing professional advice to farmers starting this year.
In Odisha, till last week, the area covered under kharif crops (which comprise cereals, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables, spices, and fodder) have been better than 2019.
However, experts said the state’s much-talked about KALIA (or Krushak Assistance for Livelihood & Income Augmentation) scheme hasn’t been a big help during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis as the database of landholders and share-croppers isn’t quite ready.
Under the scheme, small and marginal cultivators are entitled to get Rs 10,000 in two tranches for two crops in a year. Landless sharecroppers are also eligible for Rs 12,000 per annum for three years.
“The government has not compensated farmers for the lockdown
period. Now, the government needs to provide at least 50 per cent input subsidy to ensure smooth kharif operations,” said Bhala Chandra Sarangi, national secretary, All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha.
He added: “Over and above the lockdown
woes, 10-15 days of heavy rainfall has damaged crops, amplifying worries for the farmers.”