A study conducted by the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) with Maruthi Sankar Ghattamraju, a retired agriculture statistician leading it, on the groundnut growing conditions in 63 mandals of Anantapur district, under rainfed conditions (no irrigation of any kind), has thrown up some interesting facts and insights that will help ground-level farmers.
The study from 2001 to 2018 on the impact of total rainfall in a year in that mandal, total cropped area, the length of crop growing period, efficiency of rainwater use, groundnut yield sustainability index, has helped the scientists classify 18 mandals as profitable or sustainable taking into account all parameters.
“This information must reach the grassroots level farmer so that groundnut could be sown only in those mandals and the farmers reap the profits, while those farmers in other mandals could diversify their crops based on these scientific model created by a team of scientists and statisticians,” Mr. Sankar told The Hindu.
All this work done at the Agriculture Research Centre, Rekulakunta in Anantapur, has helped scientists identify 10 mandals that are superior to others in all aspects with a composite ranking given to them based on rainfall, yield, cropped area, water management, and the best is Guntakal (with a rank score of 69), followed by Gooty (85), Vidapanakal (154), Kothacheruvu (158), Nallamada and Peddavadagur (169), Kadiri (179), Dharmavaram (182), Vajrakarur (192) and Tadipatri (196).
“This study is pertinent at this juncture as many farmers have not sown groundnut this kharif season and the sown area has fallen despite good rainfall,” points out B.Sahadeva Reddy, Principal Scientist & Head, ARS, Rekulakunta.
The State Agriculture Department with such a large presence in the district starting from Village Secretariat level Horticulture / Agriculture Assistant to Mandal Agriculture Officer to Joint Director Agriculture, such information must percolate to the specific farmers in those mandals, he opined. Some of the promising mandals that had a rank-sum of less than 200 include Tadipatri with 182, Tanakal with 195, Mudigubba with 197, CK Palli with 198, and Lepakshi with 200.