Farmers bogged down by vagaries of weather

The Andhra Pradesh Rythu Coolie Sangham, Communist Party of India (M) and CITU as part of their three-day ‘rythu coolie rakshana padayatra’, visited the farms in Cherlapalli in Putlur mandal, Maddipalli and Madugupalli in Narpala mandal in Anantapur district to assess the extent of loss incurred by farmers due to lack of rains in August/September and excess rain in November.

AP Rythu Sangham vice-president V. Rambhupal said that farmers at Cherlapalli had started drying sprouted onions on a cement road, in a bid to retrieve at least part of their produce.

Tippeswamy and Prabhakara Reddy, farmers from the village, had a good crop of onion and were about to harvest it in the second week of November. But the recent unabated rain has dashed all their hopes. Now they were trying to save whatever little they can as their last-ditch effort.

At Maddipalli, Laksminarsamma had grown coriander and onion with much difficulty and after taking ₹4.5 lakh loan, but now with everything washed out, she is hoping for a helping hand from the government, said CITU leader Chandrasekhar. At Madugupalli, another farmer, Kondamma, has 4 acres of curry leaves growing, but there is none to buy her produce as the quality had come down due to the rain.

Bengal gram has got washed out in 1,400 acres though the farmers had sown it twice after they lost the first time due to lack of rain, said former MLC Geyananad. Banana is commanding only ₹2.5 a kg against a normal of ₹7 to ₹10 a kg depending on the quality, that too if loaded onto a vehicle on the metal road as vehicles are unable to enter the farms due to soggy soil.

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