Suryapet: Buoyed by the bumper paddy crop in the dry lands during Yasangi (Rabi) this year, farmers of Suryapet district are gearing up to bring more dry lands under cultivation area during Vaanakalam (Kharif) season, thanks to the irrigation facility through Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP) canal. They are making arrangements for tilling these dry lands and other preparations ahead of the monsoon crop season, which is estimated to result in increase in total cultivation area by at least 60,000-70,000 acres.
Farmers took up paddy cultivation in Tirumalgiri, Nagaram, Jajireddygudem, Chivvemla and other mandals about one month after Yasangi season commenced this year.
However, the crop yield was 30 quintals per acre, which has instilled confidence in them. As against about 4.8 lakh acres cultivated during Vaankalam season last year, the officials are estimating the total cultivation area in Suryapet district to increase up to 5.5 lakh acres during the ensuing Vaanakalam season. Of this, paddy cultivation is likely to be taken up in more than 1.5 lakh acres.
The face of the agriculture in the district was completely changed after Godavari River water from Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme reached the agricultural lands in the district through SRSP canal. Several farmers narrate how the SRSP canal, which supplied irrigation water for more than three months without interruption, helped them change agricultural activity in the area.
A farmer from Vijayanarayam of Nagaram mandal, Bayya Venkanna took up paddy cultivation in one acre in Yasangi season for the first time after leveling the dry land and earned paddy yield of 30 quintals per acre. Pointing out that he took up cultivation motivated by water availability in SRSP canal, he felt that the crop yield could have been more if he had taken up cultivation at the right time. Now, he has leveled another two acres of dry land to take up paddy cultivation in the monsoon crop season.
Not just Bayya Venkanna, but thousands of the farmers in the district were also preparing their remaining dry lands to commence cultivation during the Vaanakalam season due to irrigation facility available through SRSP canal.
Improved groundwater level
Gunthakandla Venkat Reddy, another farmer from Nagaram, owns eight acres land and had earlier taken up cultivation in only four acres due to lack of irrigation facility. In the last Yasangi season, he has taken up cultivation in all eight acres which doubled his income. Filling up of the irrigation tanks through SRSP canal improved groundwater level in the area also boosted the agriculture activity further. “We have plenty of water from borewells itself due to increased groundwater levels, prompting us to increase the cultivation area,” he added.
A 58-year-old farmer Jala Ramanarsaiah from Velpucharla in Jajireddygudem mandal, who took up paddy cultivation for the first time in two acres of dry land during Yasangi told Telangana Today that he received paddy yield of 48 quintals for two acres during Yasangi season and was preparing another two acres adjacent to the existing crop area to increase paddy cultivation during the monsoon crop season. He said due to the efforts of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in pumping water into SRSP canal, the groundwater levels have been restored to the levels which were earlier seen when he was 15 years old.
Decades-old open well
A decade-old agricultural open well, which was located beside Suryapet-Jangaon road in an agricultural field at Velpucharla, stands as a testimonial for the improved groundwater levels in the area. The water in the open well is available at just 15 feet from the surface. Sampathi Punnaiah, who owns the open well, said the open well came alive in October last year after remaining dry for over 15 years. Encouraged by water supply, he fixed a pump set to the well for irrigating water and took up cultivation in his two acres land during Yasangi this year.
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