Hyderabad: In a testimony to the exponential growth of agriculture in the once-parched Telangana, the State broke all records this Yasangi season when the extent of area under cultivation zoomed to 63.13 lakh acres against the season normal of 36.43 lakh acres. Last Yasangi, the total area under cultivation was 53.82 lakh acres which was the highest since State formation in 2014.
Paddy cultivation alone shot up four-fold in just two years and continues to be the preferred crop, but more importantly, farmers took to Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s advice to shift to market demand-based pulses cultivation this Yasangi. The total extent of land under pulses jumped by at least 40 per cent and even doubled in the case of some pulses compared to season normal.
Paddy is being cultivated in about 49.16 lakh acres of the total 63.13 lakh acres under cultivation, accounting for more than 120 per cent growth when compared to the season normal of 19.79 lakh acres. “Due to availability of water resources and increasing demand, paddy cultivation has increased by nearly four times during the Yasangi season over the last two years. Last Yasangi, paddy was sown in about 39.31 lakh acres. In Yasangi 2018-19, paddy cultivation was taken up in only 17.3 lakh acres,” an officer in the Agriculture Department told Telangana Today. At present, paddy is in various stages of cultivation — from transplantations to the tillering stage — in different parts of the State.
Following repeated advice by the Chief Minister, who has been vocal about farmers increasing cultivation of market-driven crops through regulated farming, pulses cultivation shot up considerably this Yasangi season. Bengal gram has been sown in about 3.33 lakh acres against season normal area of 2.48 lakh acres and the crop is in various stages of growth — from pod maturity to harvesting in different areas of the State. Similarly, the extent of land under black gram cultivation increased from 17,643 acres in last Yasangi to 43,998 acres this season, 11,955 acres to 31,266 acres for green gram, and 460 acres to 4,023 acres for redgram respectively. Horsegram cultivation also increased from 786 acres last Yasangi to 4,023 acres this season.
There is a growing interest in the cultivation of oilseeds amid the repeated emphasis on its growing demand. Oilseeds have been sown in about 3.32 lakh acres this Yasangi against 3.14 lakh acres last season. Groundnut farming continues to dominate the sector with about 2.49 lakh acres, while sesamum and sunflower crops are being cultivated in about 52,830 acres and 15,885 acres respectively. However, the extent of area under oilseeds cultivation is yet to reach the season normal crop sown area of 3.73 lakh acres.
Among the districts, Warangal Rural district witnessed the highest increase of 173.45 per cent in cultivation area when compared to the season normal area sown, followed by Mahabubnagar district by 152 per cent increase.
Telangana witnessed a significant increase in total crop cultivation area from 29.33 lakh acres in Yasangi 2018-19 to 53.82 lakh acres in Yasangi 2019-20 and then to 63.13 lakh acres during this Yasangi season so far. It is being attributed to the increased availability of irrigation facilities including new irrigation projects, rising groundwater levels and also excess rainfall. Since June 2020, Telangana has witnessed 1,259 mm rainfall till January 2021 which is 48 per cent excess when compared to normal rainfall of 852 mm during the period. Groundwater levels also increased by 2.32 metres from 8.88 m in January last year to 6.56 m in January this year.
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