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Kurnool Sona rice becomes dearer

Kurnool Sona rice becomes dearer
Highlights

“Kurnool Sona Masuri,” widely famous in India and abroad among other rice varieties, is likely to become dearer in the coming days. Kurnool district...

Kurnool: “Kurnool Sona Masuri,” widely famous in India and abroad among other rice varieties, is likely to become dearer in the coming days. Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of the famous rice variety.

There was a steep fall in production for the two consecutive years due to reduction in cultivation area. The rice production was 3,87,348 metric tonnes in 2016-17 and it had drastically dropped in 2017-18.

The drop is attributed to the decrease in paddy cultivation area coverage in the district. Scanty rainfall and inadequate water storage in the reservoirs are said to be other reasons for the decline in paddy cultivation.

The famous variety is raised in an extent of 6.5 lakh hectares under various water resources. Sona Masuri in Kurnool is mostly irrigated with the water of canals, ponds and streams which in turn depend on the rains in catchment areas.

Due to delay in the arrival of rains, and non-release of sufficient water from the Sunkesula Barrage, the cultivation area under Kurnool-Cuddapah (KC) Canal has been reduced by 2.6 lakh acres. Only 10 per cent of the total extent of 6.5 lakh acres was planted with Kurnool Sona Masuri and the yield was also very poor. As a result of less production, the rice prices have gone up and went out of the reach of common man.

S Venkata Rathnam, resident of Somireddy Nagar in the town said that, he has to spend Rs 1,050 to purchase 25 kg of rice. “At least, I could afford the price to buy, but what about a common, man who is struggling for livelihood. Of other Sona Masuries, Sona Masuri of Kurnool is a famous brand and has gained worldwide popularity. In the coming days, the price of the variety will surpass the price of Basmati rice,” he says.

Another resident, S Emmanuel expressing concern said that there is every chance of extinction of the famous variety if the district administration fails to take steps to release timely water.

The total area of 2.5 lakh acres ayacut under KC Canal has been planted with maize, chilies and other commercial crops. He urged the officials of district administration to store sufficient water at Sunkesula Barrage and release to KC Canal so that farmers could raise the Sona Masuri crop.

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