Poor water reserves fail to deter paddy farming


Nellore: Taking advantage of the monsoon rains, farmers have launched agriculture operations in SPSR Nellore district. Cultivation activities related to late Kharif began in the months of April-May itself under filter points and wells.
The recent rains have contributed to the intensification of the preparation activities. Incidentally farmers have as usual opted for traditional paddy cultivation notwithstanding to the poor water reserves in Somasila Project and Kandaleru Dam apart from other tanks and reservoirs banking  on the rains.
According to latest information, the water level in Somasila Project is 7.739 tmc (lowest in the recent past), Kandaleru 12.058 tmc, Kanigir reservoir 9.8 ft, Surveypalli tank 4.5 ft and Nellore tank 11.1 ft. The reserves in other tanks are almost negligible.
Agriculture wing officials says that the farmers are preferring paddy knowing fully well about threat to the crop in case of monsoon failure hoping good returns in view of  skyrocketing market price for rice.
Joint Director of Agriculture K.V.Subba Rao said that the rains in the first half of July helped standing paddy crop affected by pest and diseases. Paddy is being cultivated in 20,549 hectares as against the normal area of 62,000 hectares as of now and the balance extent will be covered by September, he noted.
He added that some paddy farmers have opted for groundnut cultivation while referring to the extent of groundnut in 9877 hectares as against normal area of 6513 hectares during the current season. He said that they are providing green manure seed to the farmers apart from pulses.

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