With southwest monsoon retreating as early as September, farmers in the state have been left in a lurch.

With deficient rainfall in districts shadow of drought looms large on Andhra PradeshImage for representation/PTI
news Drought Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 18:38

By Gayathri Anuradha Y

With many districts in Andhra Pradesh having received deficient rainfall, the threat of drought is looming large on the state. Farmers hoping for the southwest monsoon to last till October have been left in a lurch, given that it retreated as early as September. 

A state government report, which recorded data from August, September, up until October 18, declared deficient rainfall in Srikakulam, Prakasam, Chittor and Anantapur districts and scanty rainfall in Nellore district. The latter showed 61.8% deviation towards the negative side between normal and actual rainfall for these months, followed by Anantapur district with a deviation of -36.1% and Prakasam district at -32.1%.

All the 46 mandals in Nellore district have experienced deficit and scanty rainfall, with Doravarisatram mandal seeing a massive deficit of 83.1%. While it is normal for Doravarisatram to receive 552 mm of rainfall, it recorded only 93.5mm cumulative rainfall so far this monsoon.

Deficient rainfall also affected the Kharif crops this year with farmers struggling to irrigate water-intensive crops like rice and sugarcane. Sakshi had earlier reported that the state had received only 569.7 mm of rainfall so far whereas the average normal is 569.7 mm.

Moreover, according to the Season and Crop Coverage Report 2015-16, rabi crops like paddy, cotton, chillies, redgram have been showing signs of wilting since the beginning of October in Guntur District.

Hemamaheshwar Rao, Joint Director of Agriculture, Nellore told TNM that the black gram crop may fail in the district if the rains are delayed any further. “We are hoping that the much-needed rainfall will be recorded within the next 15 days, before the start of the rabi season. We are also discussing the possibility of releasing water for 1,15,000 acres for the second crop cycle in case this doesn’t happen,” he added.

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