Hyderabad: A dry spell over the last 10 days after a few early showers at the end of May has left farmers across Telangana worried, as the seeds they sowed in anticipation of the monsoon are in danger of dying, leading to great financial loss for the farmers.
Several farmers who have invested in seeds are hoping for rain in the next few days as otherwise they will suffer losses and will have to go through the whole process again.
“We have been waiting for about 15 days now after sowing seeds. Most of the people in my area have sown cotton seeds, which might get spoilt. Because of the dry spell they might lose the money invested in not just the seeds but also on labour and machinery for the harvest this kharif season," said G. Rajinder, a farmer from Nalgonda district.
He added that farmers are set to lose about ₹ 4,000 per acre on an average if it does not rain in the next few days. “Others who have not yet sown seeds of non-cash crops are still waiting for the monsoon. This (erratic rainfall) has been the case from the last few years," said Rajinder.
A senior official from the Telangana agriculture marketing department, who did not want to be named, said that if there is no rainfall in the next four days or so, many farmers will lose their money. “The monsoon generally begins from the first or second week of June. But this year there was some rainfall at the end of May and early in June, and nothing after. If this continues, then the government will go for alternate cropping patterns for farmers," he said.
Last year in Telangana, cotton cultivation touched nearly 1.9 million hectare, a good 50% higher than the previous year’s 1.24 million hectare. Cotton is the most sown crop in the state. The state also witnessed some violence by chilli farmers, who ransacked the Khammam agriculturual market yard, after chilli prices crashed to the range of ₹ 3,000 to ₹ 4,000 in 2017-18 from the range of ₹ 12,000 to ₹ 15,000 the previous year.
Saraswati Kavula, an organic farmer and member of the Rashtriya Kisan Samanvay Samithi (a farmers’ organization) who has a farm about 70km outside Hyderabad, said the situation should be under control for natural farmers like her if it rains soon. However, if this does not happen, she will have to give up hope of her kharif crop, Kavula said. “This happened last year also and in 2015, there was no rain for a whole month. All this is a result of climate change," she told Mint.
According to the India Meteorological Department, a prediction of rainfall and thundershowers has been given for the next five days. The heat also has been on the higher side, with Hyderabad recording maximum temperature of 37.8 degree Celsius.