A grave food crisis stares Andhra Pradesh -- known as the country's rice bowl -- as its farmers suffered a double blow this Kharif season.
It was the worst drought in 50 years that first hit them hard at the beginning of the season and even before they could recover from it, the deluge -- the worst in over 100 years --rubbed salt into their injury.
A preliminary estimate has put the loss, only on account of the floods, at a staggering Rs 1250 crore to the agriculture sector.
Paddy, the prime crop in most parts of the state including the Krishna Delta, has been the worst hit, first because of the drought and now due to the deluge.
While the state agriculture department estimated that paddy output will be about 85 lakh tonnes in Kharif, the production will be 30 lakh tonnes less due to drought and the deluge.
"Our revised estimate is that paddy production will be around 55 lakh tonnes only during this Kharif," state Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy said.
The overall foodgrain production is also expected to fall by a whopping 30 per cent out of the estimated 113.48 lakh tonnes, it is feared.
Apart from foodgrains, horticulture crops have also suffered extensive damages in districts like Guntur, Krishna, Mahbubnagar and Kurnool. While Mahbubnagar produces vegetables in large quantities, Kurnool is famous for onions and tomatoes.