Andhra pradesh Agriculture department pegged the total losses due to heavy rains and floods at 8.42 lakh metric tonnes of production loss and Rs 2,494 crore of monetary losses during Kharif, while horticulture crop in 12,582.12 hectares suffered damage, causing an estimated loss of Rs 275.74 crore.
It was not only heavy rains that lashed different parts of the State throughout Kharif, more so at the harvesting stage, but also the floods in Krishna, Godavari along with several minor rivers and streams with heavy inflows from upper catchment areas played spoilsport for the farmers.
According to H Arun Kumar, Special Commissioner, Agriculture department, paddy crop was damaged to an extent of 85,000 hectares with production loss of 4.33 lakh metric tonnes and monetary loss of Rs 801 crore. Cotton crop was damaged to an extent of 30,500 hectares with production loss of 0.54 lakh metric tonnes and monetary loss of Rs 297 crore.
Maize crops to an extent of 25,000 hectares suffered damage and the production loss was 1.13 lakh hectares with a monetary loss of Rs 209 crore. Losses of other crops including red gram, black gram, green gram and minor millets put together to an extent of 42,000 hectares were damaged with a production loss of 0.32 lakh metric tonnes and monetary loss of Rs 80 crore.
Groundnut farmers in Rayalaseema expected a bumper crop this Kharif, but they suffered huge losses due to the excess rains. Anantapur, Kurnool, Chittoor and Kadapa, which received more rains than other parts of the State, witnessed crop loss and drop in yield.
This Kharif, groundnut was cultivated in seven lakh hectares, but due to continuous rains during the crop growth stage very, the yield was 50 per cent less. Agriculture department put the estimated production loss at 2.10 lakh metric tonnes and Rs 1,107 crore monetary loss. Officials said the loss of groundnut crop was more in Anantapur district than other districts.
“Farmers are being advised to follow the advisories given by the agriculture department extension wing once the water recedes to minimise losses. However, there will be loss of yield. The State government, on its part, will pay input subsidy to the farmers, who have suffered more than 30 per cent loss,” the agriculture special commissioner told to media
It was not just Agriculture crops, but horticulture crops also suffered losses (above 33 per cent), especially chilli in extent of 3,199.22 hectares followed by banana in an extent of 2,540.88 hectares. Monetary losses for bananas were pegged at Rs 75.77 crore and for chilli at Rs 74.31 crore. Onion to an extent of 781.26 hectares was damaged and the monetary losses were estimated to be Rs 11 crore. Turmeric to an extent of 1,846 hectares was damaged and the estimated losses were pegged at Rs 57.33 crore. Vegetables in extent of 2,365.43 hectares were damaged with estimated loss of Rs 27.24 crore
According to Horticulture Commissioner Chiranjiv Choudhary, as per the preliminary damage report due to heavy rains, Krishna district with damage in 5,092.21 hectares suffered most damage in the State, followed by East Godavari district with 3,223.39 hectares, Kurnool with 1,602.04 hectares, West Godavari with 1,147.06 hectares and Guntur with 1,058 hectares.
Farmers in the State now have their fingers crossed with more rains predicted following a low pressure area developed in the Bay of Bengal and continuing floods in Krishna and a few other minor rivers and streams.