Farmers Hit By Drought And Government's Indifference

  • Drought in AP.. Withering crops
  • TDP Government talking about rain guns
  • Conspiracy to escape paying input subsidy and insurance
  • Opposition getting ready for assembly sessions
  • YSRCP by the side of farmers
Hyderabad: As drought has taken over the state, farmers have been pushed into a critical situation where they have to see their crops withering in front of their eyes. The Government that is supposed to come to their aid is standing stubborn. The croplands that flourished with greenery before ten days have now become barren. Around 303 mandals are suffering due to lack of rainfall. Half of the crops have been destroyed already. If there is no rain for 10 more days, the remaining crops may also go withered.
Situation in Rayalaseema, Prakasam, Nellore, Krishna and Godavari Deltas is the same. Crops spread in lakhs of acres have started to dry. Rice fields in Krishna Delta area also have withered due to shortage of irrigation water. Peanut crops in hundreds of hectares in Rayalaseema have withered. Farmers are terrorised about their expenditure not coming back.
70,00,000 acres in the state are already under cultivation in the state. Rice is growing in 8.77 lakh hectares. If it rains well, the crops will shine with greenery. But due to lack of rainfall in this critical time, rice seedlings have started to die. Many farmers chose to cultivate grains like red gram, black gram and green gram due to their high cost. Food grains are growing in 20.83 lakh hectares in the state. Farmers sowed for cultivation due to the assurance granted by the rains in May and June, but now they are left agonised due to the crops' withering. In some areas, crops like maize and malt also have withered. Farmers totally took them down and are using them as fodder. Same is the case with oil seeds. Farmers have grown cotton seeds in 3.75 lakh hectares in Guntur, Krishna and Prakasam districts. Cotton is now 40-50 days old. At this stage of growth, the farmers are confused about how to save the crop from lack of water. They can do nothing but hope for a good rainfall.
Attempts to escape payment of input subsidy
It is so unjust of the Government to say that it has rescued the crops from drought using rain guns, after all the possible damage has happened. It is highly criticised that the Government has brought in rain guns in order to escape having to pay input subsidy and crop insurance. The Government is calling it quits after sanctioning 100-200 rain guns per district. In Ananthapuram district alone, peanuts are under cultivation in almost 50,000 hectares for Kharif season, from which 40,000 hectares of crop has already been withered. The Government has been boasting after sanctioning just 200 rain guns. Using a rain gun continuously, 2 acres of crop can be watered for 7 hours. This means 50,000 heactares of crop cannot be sufficed with this. Rain gun system has been under use since almost 12 years but Chandrababu seems to be talking as if he has invented the system just now. Usually, to water peanut fields, 10-15 mm rainfall is necessary. The rain guns can only give 5mm of rainfall. Ultimately, the produce will not be as much as it is supposed to be. 
Farmers who have invested the money borrowed are being pushed into debts. Their loans not being waived as promised by the Government and their inability to pay their debts are prompting them to commit suicide. From June, 72 farmers have committed suicide in AP till date. Farmers associations are mentioning that such a drought has not occurred in recent times. Due to the Government's lack of foresight, the farmers are suffering. The CM, instead of examining the crop fields personally, is flying over them instead, doing 'areal survey'. The recent areal surveys conducted in Kadapa and Ananthapuram districts are criticised to be due to the Government's fear of having to face the confrontation of opposition party.
Demand for payment of compensation of Rs.10,000 per acre
YSRCP is demanding the Government to come to the aid of the drought-effected farmers. The leader of opposition and YSRCP president YS Jagan led a maha dharna in front of collectorate of YSR Kadapa district along with farmers on the 3rd of this month. He slammed the Government's failure in having foresight and its responsibility in the current critical situation of agriculture in the state. He condemned the Government for not completing the water projects initiated by former CM Dr.YS Rajasekhar Reddy and for not sanctioning water to Rayalaseema in spite of maintaining 150 TMC of water level in Srisailam reservoir. YSRCP is demanding that the Government should come to the aid of the farmers by providing Rs.10,000 compensation per acre of destroyed crops. The party is going to fight on the same issue at the assembly during the sessions to be conducted from the 8th of this month.

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