The Centre has estimated this year’s rice output at 102.36 million tonnes while cotton production is pegged at 37.12 million bales. “Now the output may be less than estimated as rains have destroyed harvest-ready crops of paddy and cotton in Andhra and Telangana, which contribute more than 15% of the total rice production. The extent of crop losses is being estimated,” said an official, who did not wish to be identified.
As per initial estimates, there have been crop damages across 80,000 hectares in Telangana and 71,000 hectares in Andhra. “The governments of both states are doing the assessment. Major damages have been observed in paddy and cotton, while crops of ragi and pulses have also suffered significant damages,” said an agriculture ministry official.
Andhra chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy wrote to Union home minister Amit Shah, requesting an immediate release of ₹1,000 crore for repair and restoration work in the aftermath of heavy rains and floods. He also requested the Centre to send a team to assess the loss due to heavy rains in the state. Rice procurement and cotton purchase have already begun and government agencies have bought 6 million tonnes of rice and 165,369 bales of cotton. “Procurement in Telangana and Andhra starts late due to delayed harvest. Now it is likely to be further delayed due to heavy rains and crop damages,” said the official cited earlier.
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