Andra suffers widespread crop damage
Crops spread across 3 lakh acres were damaged in Andhra Pradesh due to unseasonal rains and thunderstorms a week ago. The standing rabi crops ready for harvest were damaged in various districts across the state. As a result, farmers from Rayalaseema and the coastal districts who were hoping to reap a good harvest over the next two weeks have suffered major losses.
The damaged crops include maize, chilly, paddy, tobacco, banana, tomato, and other horticultural and vegetable crops. The mango crop was also extensively damaged. The inclement weather resulted in inundated maize fields, while strong winds wrecked other fruit trees.
Maize crops suffered damage in parts of NTR, Parvathipuram Manyam, and Kurnool districts. Banana crop damage was reported from Parvathipuram Manyam, while black gram and cotton crop damage was reported in a mandal in the Prakasam district. Farmers in Kadapa and Annamaiah districts faced the loss of horticulture crops, especially papaya, banana, mango, lemon, watermelon, and turmeric.
The financial and emotional burden drove several farmers to commit suicide as a result. Some complained that authorities have not come to their rescue, even staging a protest to bring light to the matter.
Farmers think the government failed to show the desired promptness as it is yet to release data relating to crop losses and announce compensation.
However, on March 19, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy met with senior officials to review the grim situation arising from untimely rains. Seeking details of the crop loss caused by the unseasonal rains, the Chief Minister directed them to immediately start enumeration of the crop loss. He directed all district collectors to complete the enumeration in a week and take steps to help the farmers who have suffered crop loss due to the rains.