Hyderabad: With good planning, farsighted policies, timely implementation and proper utilisation of resources come rewards. For Telangana, 2019 may well spell a turning point in the field of agriculture with the State poised to take a quantum leap in farm produce, particularly paddy and cotton. And this is not just for the ongoing kharif season. The trend is expected to extend to the next Yasangi season too.
Thanks to the emphasis of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on completing irrigation projects to harness river waters coupled with the bountiful rains this year, the area under cultivation in the State has crossed the dream mark of one crore acre, no mean achievement given the gloomy picture in the early days of monsoon.
The total extent of area under cultivation is about 1.04 crore acre covering 98 per cent of the cultivable area of 1.07 crore acre.
Paddy production is expected to smash through all previous records, with cultivation of paddy going up by 5 lakh acre from the normal area of 23.83 lakh acre, registering an increase of about 21 per cent in sowing. Last year, paddy was cultivated on 25.14 lakh acre and that itself had yielded a bumper crop. With the increase in area under paddy cultivation this year, agriculture officials are anticipating a super bumper yield this time around.
Cotton cultivation too recorded a six per cent increase with about 45.31 lakh acre under cultivation against the normal cultivated area of 42.62 lakh acre. Interestingly, rain-fed crops such as Ragi also recorded a 33 per cent increase in cultivation from normal area of 2,600 acres to 3,464 acres as on date.
Sowing of maize, jowar, redgram, blackgram, horse gram, soybean and turmeric, are nearing completion, recording cultivation in the range of 76-100 per cent of their normal areas. In all, pulses are being cultivated in 9.19 lakh acre against normal crop area of 10.25 lakh acre in the State. Oil seeds cultivation, however, was relatively low with only 77 per cent (5.27 lakh acres) under cultivation against normal cultivated area of 6.84 lakh acre. The drop in cultivation of oil seeds is mainly on account of farmers shifting to paddy in the wake of favourable conditions, agriculture officials told Telangana Today.
Some of the main factors that raised farmers’ confidence to a new high are the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) on Godavari going operational, even if only partially, availability of water in Krishna Basin and subsequent filling of reservoirs on the river, recharge of groundwater levels in rain-fed agriculture areas and village tanks and ponds brimming with water after rejuvenation under Mission Kakatiya.
At least a dozen districts, including Nizamabad, Kamareddy, Wanaparthy, Narayanpet, Karimnagar, Jagityal, Peddapally, Rajanna-Sircilla, Adilabad, Mancherial, Nirmal and Kumram Bheem Asifabad, have achieved more than 100 per cent cultivation of agricultural lands. With about 4.54 lakh acres under cultivation against normal crop area of 3.58 lakh acres, Kamareddy district topped the districts with a 127 per cent cultivation against normal crop area.
“Due to heavy rains in upstream areas, Telangana received bountiful water in its reservoirs and tanks. While availability of water in reservoirs of Krishna Basin encouraged farmers to take up cultivation in South Telangana region, farmers in North Telangana districts now have assured water due to Kaleshwaram project. Projects like Yellampally, Mid Manair and Sri Ram Sagar Project have received good inflows assuring adequate water supply for irrigation,” Principal Secretary for Agriculture C Parthasarathi told Telangana Today.
Though delayed, the State also received good rainfall which resulted in filling of several village tanks and also increased groundwater levels. Official reports indicated a good crop year as Yasangi season is also expected to witness huge growth in cultivation compared to previous years, due to availability of water in various reservoirs and tanks.