Nalgonda: Farmers in the tail-end areas under Rajavaram Major and R1-Lift Irrigation Scheme on the Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP) Left Canal are a delighted lot. For the first time in the 60-year history of the major irrigation project, they are now reaping the benefits of a second crop – Yasangi, with the produce fetching them good money.
Farmers of Sri Rampuram and Alwala villages under R1 Lift Irrigation Scheme and Rajavaram, Boyagudem and Yellapuram villages under Rajavaram Major on NSP Left Canal were provided irrigation facility for a second crop for the first time in the history of the project. Following the availability of water, farmers in the area took up paddy cultivation in Yasangi that has financially benefitted them. Most farmers in the tail-end areas were forced to skip the second crop and this had an adverse impact on their finances.
With the initiative of Minister for Power and SC Development G Jagadish Reddy, water was supplied to tail-end areas by closing the gate at Haliya on NSP Left Canal after completion of water release schedule that saved crops on more than 500 acres under Rajavaram Major and R1- LI Schemes. Even after completion of schedule of water release on April 12, 150 cusecs of water per day was released to Rajavaram Major and R1-LI Scheme from April 19 to 25 that prevented drying up of crops in tail-end areas.
With sufficient water supply for a second crop in tail-end areas, yield of paddy was 30 quintals to 35 quintals per acre that earned huge profits for farmers.
Under R1-Lift Irrigation Scheme, area under cultivation was 1,240 acre in Alwala and Sri Rampuram villages and irrigation facility was provided to the last acre for a second crop in this area, resulting in bumper yields never seen before. Similarly, area under cultivation in three villages under Rajavaram Major was around 1,000 acres, which also got irrigation facility for a second crop this year.
It was translated into high yield of paddy that financially benefitted farmers in the area. Under R1 LI Scheme, 500 farmers, who usually skip the season or take up cotton cultivation, took up for the first time paddy cultivation and achieved high yield.
Manupati Venkataiah, a farmer who owns two-and-a-half acres of land at Sri Rampuram village under R1-LI Scheme, told Telangana Today that he took up cultivation of paddy as a second crop for the first time and got a crop yield of 35 quintals per acre. He earned Rs 1.1 lakh through sales. After all expenses, he gained a profit of Rs 60,000 from the second crop and used the money to clear his debts. Earlier, he was cultivating cotton and pulses crops depending on rainfall and incurred heavy loss as the crop yield was just six quintals per acre due to unfavourable weather conditions.
Another farmer Keesara Srinivas, who owned eight acres at Sri Rampuram village, said that he incurred losses when taking up cotton cultivation during Yasangi season due to adverse weather conditions. As he took up cultivation of paddy as second crop this year, his crop on eight acres land, which was a tail-end area of R1-LI Scheme, might have been damaged had Minister for Power G Jagadish Reddy not taken up the initiative to provide irrigation facility by closing the gates on NSP Left Canal at Haliya.
“Keeping in mind the good income after selling the paddy, I fixed my daughter’s marriage and performed the marriage on a grand scale”, he maintained.
Another farmer, Nallabathula Buddaiah, who owned three acres of agricultural land at Alwala village under R1-Lift Irrigation Scheme, said that he did not taken up cultivation during Yasangi season in the last few years due to lack of irrigation and depended on rain. With the irrigation facility, he took up paddy cultivation as second crop during yasangi season and got a crop yield of 90 quintals and made a profit of Rs 1.4 lakh after selling the crop.
The village tank of Ravajavaram, which was treated as an end point of Rajavaram Major on NSP Left Canal, is still brimming with water that indicates that irrigation facility was provided to the last acre.
A 50-year-old farmer Munnuru Bixaiah, who owns two acres of land at Rajavaram village under the village tank, said that he did not take up cultivation during the last crop season due to lack of irrigation. Last year, he faced Rs 30,000 loss as his paddy crop dried up due to non-availability of water. However, due to the irrigation facility, he has reaped 55 quintals of paddy crop that fetched him Rs 55 lakh profit. He has planned to spend the amount to purchase some agricultural tools on the advice of his son who works at a private agri-tech company.
Former chairman of R1-LI Scheme Management Committee Gajjala Srinivas Reddy said that it was a festive time for the farmers of Sri Rampuram and Alwala villages as they have achieved high yield of paddy through irrigation for the second crop for the first time. It would reflect the financial condition of the people in these two villages. As there is a deep cut above the area of R1 LI Scheme, the groundwater availability in these two villages was also thin, he maintained.