Telangana received only 146 mm of rainfall against the normal rainfall of 370 mm in June.

Rain deficit in 19 Telangana districts farmers asked to grow crops that need less water
news Agriculture Monday, July 08, 2019 - 19:13

Telangana received only 146 mm of rainfall against the normal rainfall of 370 mm in June, adding to the distress of the farmers in the state. Out of the 31 districts, 19 were declared rain ‘deficit’, the Telangana agriculture department said. The districts, which received poor rainfall, include parts of Nalgonda, Adilabad, Karimnagar and Warangal.

Addressing the crisis, the agriculture department has been advising farmers to avoid the cultivation of soya beans, maize and cotton - the three widely grown crops in the state - because they require more water. Soya beans, maize, cotton, paddy and maize are widely cultivated in Telangana. 

Authorities, through local officials and publicity through radio and other mediums, have been appealing farmers to use short-duration (90-120 days) and medium-duration (120-140 days) paddy. This contingency plan was implemented after the agriculture department, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University and Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture reviewed the monsoon’s status last month.

“For maize, the sowing period is till July 15. Similarly, there is a sowing period for soya and red gram. We want the farmers to wait until there is bountiful rain, and then farmers can start sowing,” said an official from the agriculture department.

Authorities have also cautioned farmers from growing cotton in areas that are ‘rain critical’. “Cotton cultivation requires a lot of water, and it is not advised to grow cotton in areas that usually don’t get excess rains,” the official said.

The officials are instead advising the farmers to opt for intercrops, which is the practice of growing two or more crops in the same land. 

Despite the poor rainfall, the agriculture department claims that the poor rainfall did not affect the sowings for the Kharif season (June to October). 

Before the onset of the monsoon, the Meteorological Department had forecast that the rainfall in the state for the southwest monsoon would be normal. 

Normal rainfall in Telangana is 720 mm. 

However, despite the poor rainfall in the month of June, authorities are hopeful that the deficit rainfall for the month would be covered in July and September. 

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