Sona Masuri acreage dips in Kurnool
Sona Masuri rice which is very famous among rice varieties in the country is slowly loosing it glory. The cultivation of Sona Masuri has declined over the years. The Sona Masuri will become shortage soon which is the most preferred variety for rice eaters in Andhra Pradesh
Kurnool: Sona Masuri rice which is very famous among rice varieties in the country is slowly loosing it glory. The cultivation of Sona Masuri has declined over the years. The Sona Masuri will become shortage soon which is the most preferred variety for rice eaters in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states. Out of 6.5 lakh hectares in the district, paddy is cultivated (Rabi and Kharif) in an extent of 1.7 lakh hectares in the district.
- Sona Masuri is raised in Nandyal, Allagadda and Nandikotkur Assembly constituencies with KC Canal water
- The successive governments for the past 9 years stopped supplying allocated 10 tmcft of water through KC Canal for Rabi
- Farmers allege water is being diverted to Anantapur district through HLC from Tungabhadra dam by issuing special GOs
Of the 1.7 lakh hectares, Sona Masuri is being cultivated in 1.18 lakh hectares. The farmers have been raising Sona Masuri variety especially in Nandyal, Allagadda and Nandikotkur Assembly constituencies. To cultivate the Sona Masuri variety in the above constituencies, the K-C canal is the only main water source. The Irrigation department is supplying water in Kharif season from June to September and the supply would be stopped for Rabi crop.
This is resulting in the declining of Sona Masuri cultivation. Kurnool Sona is now being cultivated in less than 6,000 hectares in the Rabi season. Even in Kharif season also the sowing area was recorded in 1.18 lakh hectares, a less by 20,000 hectares compared to previous years.
The Irrigation officials have to release 10 tmcft of water for every Rabi season to the K-C Canal ayacut. Farmers alleged that the successive governments have diverted the allocated water to Anantapur district through High Level Canal (HLC) from Tungabhadra dam by bringing special GOs like 3, 10 and 636 since 9 years.
With the issuing of these GOs, there was no water supply for the last nine years for Rabi crop, an official from the Irrigation department who did not want to disclose his name said. “It is very bad practice by the state government and if it continues then the people of district have to forget cultivating Sona Masuri during Rabi crop under KC Canal ayacut,” the official stated. As a result of water scarcity for the last few years, the production of Sona Masuri has declined to 25 lakh tonnes from 65 lakh tonnes, said another officer of the same department.
A farmer K Prakash from G Singavaram said that he use to cultivate Sona Masuri in an extent of 5 acres under KC Canal. Now, the cultivation was reduced to one acre due to non-availability of water and the remaining land was cultivated with other commercial crops, he stated.
Nandikotkur MLA Y Isaiah alleged that the government is neglecting the K-C Canal ayacut farmers. The MLA demanded that the government should take steps to release allocated water in every Rabi season. If the water is not supplied then there are chances of farmers being forced to commit suicide, he said. Without showing discrimination, the MLA urged the government to save the farmers from committing suicides.
By V Narendra Kumar