Poor rains hit sugarcane farmers in Vizag district

Poor rains hit sugarcane farmers in Vizag district
Highlights

Though the sugarcane crop is damaged due to poor rainfall in the district, the officials totally failed to send the groundlevel reports to the government

Visakhapatnam: Though the sugarcane crop is damaged due to poor rainfall in the district, the officials totally failed to send the ground-level reports to the government.

The sugarcane is second largest cultivated crop in the district after paddy. With big hopes, the farmers harvested the crop in an extent of 48,000 hectares. However, due to very poor rains in the southwest monsoon season, the crop totally dried up at several areas in Anakapalle, Munagapaka, Chodavaram, Yelamanchili, and Nakkapalli mandals.

As the two major cyclones Title and Phethai failed to yield good rains, the paddy crop was damaged in an extent of 30,000 acres in the district. Concerned over the issue, the ZPTC and MLAs in the district unanimously passed a resolution in the Zilla Parishad general body meeting urging the government to declare 22 mandals in the district as drought-hit areas. The Zilla Parishad also wrote a letter to the government in this regard and the issue is pending with the government.

As the crop dried up due to poor rains, the farmers expressing their anger and resorted to agitations in some rural areas. Recently, many farmers brought their dried up crop to Anakapalle and burnt the same at various junctions demanding that the government immediately waive their farm loans and provide input subsidy for them.

According to norms, five departments have to submit reports to announce a mandal as drought-hit. The department of agriculture has already informed to government that the crops in several mandals were badly affected due to poor rains in the southwest monsoon. However, according to guidelines, the sugarcane crop should be damaged/dried up over 32 per cent against the total cultivation.

“It is true that the district has registered very less rainfall. The farmers are demanding the government to announce 22 mandals as drought-hit. However, as per the strict guidelines, if the crop losses over 32 per cent only, we have to write to the government. The agriculture department has already submitted its report about the less rainfall in the district. But, the other departments are yet to submit their reports,” said Joint Director of Agriculture, Aadarana Kumar to The Hans India.

Meanwhile Visakhapatnam Sahakara Rythu Vedika convener Suresh Babu said the government should not shirk its responsibility in the name of rules and regulations. Not only the sugarcane farmers all the crops in the district were badly affected and the MLAs and elected representatives should inform to the government about the ground level situation and sough help.

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