Andhra Pradesh: Drought conditions jolted not only the paddy farmers and even farmers who are harvesting short-term crops such as cotton also affected. They also failed to get yield due to seasonal diseases and shortage of water. Farmers in the district cultivated in around 4,000 hectares in the entire district.
The farmers who skipped cultivating paddy this year had shifted to cotton crop due to non-availability of water in the season. Still, farmers have been facing troubles as they had incurred huge losses due to seasonal pests and shortage of water.
Nellore is known for paddy crop which gradually turned to centre for commercial crops. Many mandals are now showing presence of aquaculture, where large tracts of land, which were previously under rice cultivation. Some farmers also started to shift to other crops that consume low quantity of water.
Paddy was being cultivated in just around 33,000 hectares in kharif as against 62,000 hectares normal cultivation area. Nearly 1.88 lakh metric tonnes of paddy were yielded from kharif operations last year. Farmers had spent more than Rs 25,000 per acre on cotton this year.
Now, they are getting only Rs 32 to Rs 35 per one kg of cotton in the market. There is no adequate water for irrigation purposes in Somasila and Kandaleru reservoirs in the district. There was no rainfall even during 2016 which made the farmers out of farming activity. Consequently, farmers even in delta areas also have cultivated cotton crop instead of paddy.