Anantapur: Danger of forced migration looms large in flood-hit areas

Inundated paddy crop in Anantapur
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Inundated paddy crop in Anantapur

Highlights

Hundreds of small and marginal farmers cultivating in 2 to 5 acres of land are now in a financial quagmire deeply mired indebtedness, loss of crop and with no hope of any insurance compensation payment as the government is implementing climate-based one which applies more to drought conditions and not for damage caused by excessive rainfall and floods.

Anantapur: Hundreds of small and marginal farmers cultivating in 2 to 5 acres of land are now in a financial quagmire deeply mired indebtedness, loss of crop and with no hope of any insurance compensation payment as the government is implementing climate-based one which applies more to drought conditions and not for damage caused by excessive rainfall and floods.

Although there were no rains for over 3-4 days, rainwater which submerged crops and horticulture plantations have damaged and decayed the crops. While some farmers are trying to retrieve whatever is left, others who felt it is a futile exercise to harvest damaged and decayed crop had abandoned it and are now thinking in terms of going on a migration in search of greener pastures.

Unless the government announces immediate relief to the farmers, the victims feel that migration is the only solution if not resorting to suicide. Some farmers have even felt that suicide is the best option unless they find light at the other end of the tunnel.

The recent floods have severely affected chilly, tomato and other vegetable and commercial crop farmers who are mostly tenant farmers. Ranganna, a tenant farmer of Garladinne village, growing tomatoes told The Hans India that his entire crop was decayed due to over-ripening of the fruit which also spoilt the texture of tomato and brought down its commercial value. Due to submerging of the crop, it could not be harvested in time thus losing the entire crop and the entire investment turning into a collosal waste. Only option left before the family is migration to either Bengaluru or Kerala state but do not know what will happen as fears of another Covid wave is very much in the air, laments Ranganna as he ponders over uncertain conditions caused by Covid and floods.

Similar opinions are expressed by women farmers Nancharamma and Nagalakshmi of Pamidi village and Bhoopal Reddy and Virupaksha Reddy of Vadiyampeta village in Anantapur rural.

Yerrinaidu, a chilly farmer of Bukkaraya Samudram mandal speaking to The Hans India says that he lost his chilly crop due to drought in kharif but was hoping to recover from losses in rabi as good amount of rainfall was recorded now. The floods have destroyed the crop waiting for harvesting and landed his family of five in financial quagmire, he bemoaned. If not death, migration is the only option before many farmers.

Chilly crop is damaged in 50,000 acres. Tenant farmers have to pay Rs 40,000 per acre as annual tenancy amount. The Agriculture department has sent a comprehensive report to the government on flood damages and the farmers are anxiously waiting for a compensation package to determine their future course of action.

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