Crop News January 19, 2018
The recent rains in Chittoor district have painted a contrasting picture. While the western mandals have received abundant rainfall and several tanks and water bodies filled to the brim. However, the scenario is opposite in eastern mandals.
The scanty rainfall in eastern parts has left 80 per cent tanks with very less water. The farming community, who regularly sow paddy during this season has been contemplating with the idea of sowing groundnut, which needs less water. Groundnut crop area was very less in the eastern parts of the district.
With majority of the tanks were empty, farmers relying on the northeast monsoon would be a gambling. So, they were in a dilemma of taking any decision in this regard. Officials of the Andhra Pradesh Seeds Development Corporation popularly known as AP Seeds were getting ready to distribute groundnut seeds to the needy farmers which takes less water compared to paddy.
In the district, total Rabi crop area is 70,541 hectares. While, paddy occupies majority share with 41,863 hectares and that too in eastern parts only. Meanwhile, the normal rainfall during the season was 395 mm. But, actual rainfall of 215 mm was recorded till now. With the surrounding tanks almost empty, the farmers want to cultivate groundnut instead of paddy.
Sensing the mood of the farmers, the AP Seeds has decided to make groundnut seeds available to the farming community. Normally, every year, 2,500 to 3,000 quintals of groundnut seed being sowed in the region. But, this year, 5,000 quintals of groundnut seed kept ready, said AP Seeds district manager MS Syamala Devi.
Speaking to The Hans India, she said that they are ready to distribute more quantity of seeds if the farmers require. TAG-24 type of groundnut seeds can be harvested in 90 to 100 days. Under the present scenario, groundnut cultivation is better than paddy, she opined. The Agricultural department is also getting ready to create awareness among the farmers in this regard.