Kharif operations yet to start in Srikakulam

Kharif operations yet to start in Srikakulam
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Highlights

  • Farmers prefer to buy paddy seeds from private dealers
  • Say seeds supplied through RBKs are of inferior variety

Srikakulam: Non availability of seeds for paddy cultivation and adverse weather conditions have become major obstacles for starting Kharif operations in the district. Farmers are unhappy that the administration had failed to take steps in time to supply popular variety of seeds to the farmers.

Normally, every year by the second half of June, farmers start kharif operations but this year it is on a very slow pace. In fact, it is yet to start. There are 798 Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBK) in existence across the district. These RBKs are meant for the supply of seeds, manure and procure the farm produce. But these RBKs have failed to fulfil their targets. The government is supplying paddy seed varieties like MTU 7029 (Swarna), MTU 1061 (Indra), 1064 (Amara) and Srikakulam Sannalu, but the farmers are not interested in purchasing these seeds from the RBKs even though the government is providing a subsidy of Rs 300 on each 30-KG bag.

Instead, they are preferring to buy seeds from private dealers as the quality of those seeds is good and they are pest resistant. These seeds also give 25% higher yield than the seeds supplied by the government, said farmers - Ch Ravi, A Rama Rao and K Krishna - of Chintada and Vakalavalasa villages in Srikakulam rural mandal and Akkivalasa village in Amadalavalasa mandal.

Due to scanty rainfall, water projects like Gotta Barrage, Thotapalli Project, Madduvalasa Reservoir in the district do not have adequate water hence officials have not yet released water. The annual paddy cultivation during the Kharif season in the district is taken up in 5.50 lakh acres. By June-end, farmers complete paddy nursery works and prepare for the direct sowing process but this year operations have not yet begun till the end of June. "On the top of it, the government is not supporting us," said P V Ramana, S Appa Rao, B Arjun Rao, farmers of Ponduru, Narasannapeta and Ranastalam mandals.

When asked, Joint Director (Agriculture) K Sridhar said that scanty rainfall had affected agricultural operations and hence they were suggesting them to start direct sowing method.

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