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Farmers in Anantapur stare at dark future

As per govt. figures, standing crops in over 2.25 lakh acres are damaged

Farmers in Anantapur district are at their wits’ end with incessant rain from November 16 damaging their standing crops beyond a chance of retrieval in more than 2.25 lakh acres, going by the State government assessment on Saturday.

Sanna Gurrappa, a tenant farmer, had sown Sona Masoori paddy variety in 3 acres alongside Tadakaleru stream in June at Neelampalli in Bukkarayasamudram mandal, investing ₹75,000. But now, with the flood ravishing his crops, he stares at a dark future. “Such flood was witnessed last in 2004,” Gurrappa says.

All hopes of retrieving Gurrappa’s investment have come to naught as his field has been lying under two feet of water for the past five days.

The same is the case with I. Nageswara Reddy who has lost 3 acres of paddy crop he owned. They were expecting 30 to 35 bags (75kg) of paddy per acre, which now command ₹1,700 per bag. They had to fight with whitefly pests in some villages a month ago.

Now, all that he hopes is to get some compensation from the government. The two are among the 50-odd farmers owning 300 acres in the village and adjoining villages Janthuluru and Chedalla who have lost their crops in the flood.

Two successive cyclonic storms in the Bay of Bengal led to widespread heavy rain in November and the majority of the streams and rivers – Chitravathi, Penna and Papaghni overflowed leading to flooding of several areas along the river course and inundation of cotton, groundnut and several horticulture crops.

The majority of the mandals in the Kadiri revenue division had witnessed flooding for the fifth time this year from June. Tomato and vegetable growers are the worst-hit while 4,000 acres of horticulture farms are affected.

Prices shoot up

In Urvakonda, Tadipatri and Putluru mandals too, horticulture and agriculture crops were damaged. Tomatoes, which were sold in the retail market for ₹40 to ₹50 a kg in the first week of November, have gone up to ₹100 a kg now.

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