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Drought dries up foodgrain production in AP

K.V. KURMANATH

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HYDERABAD, MAY 23:

Production of foodgrains, oilseeds and cotton in Andhra Pradesh have registered a fall in 2011-12. Both kharif and rabi seasons were hit by drought, forcing the Government to declare over 90 per cent of allmandals as drought hit.

Sugarcane, chillies and turmeric bucked the trend with production rising.

Advance estimates prepared by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics have pegged foodgrain production at 183 lakh tonnes (lt) last season, lower than 203 lt in the previous one.

Though kharif saw an increase in rice production at 86 lt (75 lt), the overall rice production for the year decreased to 130 lt (144 lt). This led to the overall fall in foodgrain production, largely due to fall in rabi season.

The paddy area came down to 41 lakh hectares (48 lakh ha), while that of oilseeds fell to 19 lakh ha (24 lakh ha). Cotton production was down to 34 lakh bales of 170 kg of lint from 39 lakh bales.

OILSEEDS

Production of oilseeds too has been estimated lower. The projections expect virtually no production of palm oil against 3.76 lt last year.

The worst hit has been the groundnut crop. Production is down by 50 per cent to 8.8 lt from 15 lt, dragging the oilseed production to 13 lt (31 lt). This fall has been attributed to failure of kharif.

“Tobacco, castor, sunflower and soyabean too have shown a fall compared with year on year figures,” an official of the State Agriculture Ministry said.

While the sugarcane production went up to 159 lt from Rs 149 lt, chillies production increased to 9 lt (6.38 lt).

kurmanath@thehindu.co.in

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