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Crop area : Same story across regions

(In lakh hectares)

Region

Normal for the day

Same day last year

As on date

Coastal Andhra

14.91

13.45

9.57

Raylaseema

14.40

13.71

5.74

Telangana

26.77

24.39

22.73

Total

56.09

51.56

38.06

Source : Ministry of Agriculture (Paddy growing districts)

The three key paddy growing districts of East Godavari, West Godavari and Krishna districts reporting deficits of 41 per cent, 47 per cent and 65 per cent shows the enormity of the problem. ''Jowar, maize, cotton, tur dal, and groundnut show withering or wilting symptoms. The growth could be stunted if there are no rains in the coming days. Yields too will drop significantly.''

Short & Long Term Measures to overcome

Government of India has taken a decision recently to reimburse 50% of the cost that the State would incur in providing diesel subsidy to those farmers who are affected. A few states have been provided additional power from the Central pool.

Short term Measures

1. Providing drinking water by better management of water sources in the affected areas by -

Collecting available water and supplying it either by pipes or by tankers including railway tankers/wagons to the affected areas; or

By exploiting the possibility of new sources of water such as tube-wells, deepening of existing tube-wells, etc.

  • 2. Providing fodder for cattle and other livestock affected by drought.
  • 3. Providing employment to the drought affected people so that they may have some income in lieu of the loss of income caused by the loss of crops. (At least one person in a family should benefit out of the employment oriented schemes during the drought period).
  • 4. Ensuring that the required amount of food grains is made available through the Public Distribution System.
  • 5. By optimizing irrigation support to the crops out of existing facilities.
  • 6. By cultivation of short duration varieties of crops after the drought situation is relieved by some rainfall.

Long term measures

  • 1. Developing drought resistant varieties of crops and propagating their spread.
  • 2. Completing quick maturing irrigation schemes and ensuring water flow in the medium-term, say, within 3 years.
  • 3. Taking up watershed development activities and developing a cropping system based on such watershed development.
  • 4. Rain water conservation including roof-top harvesting.
  • 5. Afforestation of all exposed hill slopes as per Ridge to Valley Watershed Development approach and increasing forest canopy cover in order to ensure conservation of rain water.
  • 6. All works in drought affected areas should ensure sustainability.
  • 7. The State Governments should interact with local/state level NGOs in drought related activities.
  • 8. The State Governments should try to construct check dams in the drought affected areas with actual participation of beneficiaries/NGOs so that the stored water could be used for various purposes during drought.
 
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