Telangana will show its might in cotton, paddy, maize ఆగస్ట్ 4, 2013Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Deccan, Economy, Rayalaseema, Telangana.
Tags: agriculture, dryland
Telangana will show its might in cotton, maize
K.V.Kurmanath 2 August 2013, The Business Line
Andhra Pradesh is a leading player in paddy, cotton, groundnut, sugarcane, maize, tobacco and chillies. After bifurcation, there would be a stark contrast in the availability of fertile lands and water in the two regions.
While the Andhra region is home to the most fertile lands, Telangana is predominantly rain-fed, with uneven distribution of rainfall. The Rayalaseema area is scarce in water resources.
After the proposed division, Telangana will emerge as a predominant player in cotton, paddy and maize, with a total kharif area of 81 lakh hectares. Telangana farmers grow cotton in 14 lakh hectares during a normal kharif season. In comparison, the US grows the crop in a total area of18 lakh ha. This shows how important the cotton crop would be for the new State.
The other major crop where it virtually dominates is maize. Telangana farmers grow this crop in 4.4 lakh ha as against the US total of 5.08 lakh ha.
In pulses and coarse grains (in kharif) too, Telangana would have leadership position. It grows pulses in 5.10 lakh ha as against the total of 7.75 lakh ha and coarse grains in 5.50 lakh ha as against the total area of 7.46 lakh ha in the combined State.
The Andhra-Rayalaseema combine, which will have 13 districts, would take the lead in paddy, groundnut, tobacco and sugarcane. The new State will have 35 lakh ha of paddy area (26 lakh in kharif and 9 lakh in rabi) as against Telangana’s 16 lakh ha (10 lakh ha in kharif and 6 in rabi). The famed Kurnool Sona Masoori brand would now belong to the new State.
This region will also lead in oilseeds as it would comprise the groundnut rich Rayalaseema area. It would have 18 lakh ha (two seasons) as against Telangana’s 3.5 lakh ha. The four Rayalaseema districts produce 90 per cent of all ground nut the combined State produces. But this area lacks reliable water sources, forcing the farmers to be completely dependent on rainfall .
Sugarcane too is abundant in the Andhra-Rayalseema region . The two regions account for three-fourths of the two lakh hectares of the total sugarcane area in the combined State.
Andhra has dominance in tobacco with an area of 1.32 lakh ha in a total area of 1.53 lakh ha in the combined State.
Agriculture economist Prof. K R Chowdhary says the Rayalaseema region should be encouraged to grow horticultural crops and livestock. “You should not go for water-intensive crops such as paddy. We need to recharge tanks through canals and encourage micro-irrigation facilities. The fact that Chittoor is a leader in the dairy industry shows the importance of livestock in the water-scarce region,” he said.
Though the Krishna and Godavari rivers pass through Telangana, it would be very difficult for it to utilise the water as agricultural lands are far above the river flow. “You need to lift water to irrigate which is highly uneconomical,” he said.
While focussing on building and recharging tanks, it should focus on growing millets and oilseeds. “But you need to increase the productivity levels of millets and ensure minimum support price to make it remunerative for farmers,” he felt.
(This article was published on August 2, 2013)