Drop in rain to hit India rice output

Hyderabad: Deficient rainfall and severe drought conditions have caused wide concern in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Drastic drop in monsoon season rainfall has hit agricultural activities across the state, one of India`s leading rice cultivation zone.

As against the normal sown area of 26.48 lakh hectares, rice cultivation has been taken up in only 9.40 lakh hectares this season, known as Kharif cultivation in Indian parlance. This has sent danger signals about the fall in rice output from the state.

The rain-deficit has been 3 to 31 per cent in 13 out of 23 districts in the state since the start of the Kharif season on June 1, official sources said.

The perennially drought-hit Anantapur district recorded a 31 per cent deficit rainfall followed by Nizamabad (24 per cent) and Nalgonda and Visakhapatnam (21 per cent each).

Kurnool district got three per cent less than normal rain so far this season.

State Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy, Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana and Municipal Administration Minister M Maheedhar Reddy reviewed the situation with district Collectors through a video-conference from Hyderabad on Wednesday and wanted the agriculture department to prepare farmers for taking up irrigated dry (ID) crops as an alternative.