The crisis is further aggravated by the changed cropping patterns. today Mahaboobnagar has 30% area under cotton, about 30% area under orchard crops and 15% each under paddy and hybrid maize which are water guzzling.
The district which receives on average 500 mm rainfall is increasingly seeing deficit in no. of rainy days. for example in July, Amangal dist received 25% of the monthly average rainfall only in a day and rest of the days were dry.
Government should immediately focus on
- protecting any crop which is surviving. this needs plans for protective irrigation. any tubewells in the village should be blocked for use to grow water intensive crops like paddy and be shared with other farmers to protect the crop by paying suitable compensation
- planning short term pulse crop like greengram or horsegram in areas where sowing have not happend or where crop has already failed.
- completely stopping paddy cultivation in rabi season
- discouraging organge plantations
- provide relief in terms fodder and water to support livestock
and as a long term measure plan for
- shift from cotton, maize and paddy to millets, pulses and oilseeds
- insitu water harvesting at the farm level