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Is Kurnool Sona rice losing its sheen?

Jan 02 2019

January 02, 2019 ( The New Indian Express )

KURNOOL: Kurnool Sona rice, which is one of the most popular varieties in the country, is slowly losing its glory. This is because of decline in cultivation every year for the last 10 years. The rice variety (Kurnool Sona BPT 5204) was cultivated in an extent of 1.70 lakh acres under Kurnool-Cuddapah (KC) Canal during both Kharif and Rabi seasons. But, for the last 10 years, the extent of cultivation has been restricted to below 60,000 acres due to water scarcity.

The most preferred variety of rice in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other states is likely to to become scarce soon. The farmers have been cultivating Kurnool Sona especially in Nandyal, Allagadda, Srisailam and Nandikotkur Assembly constituencies in Kurnool district.

A Venkata Subbaiah at Nossam village in Uyyalawada mandal, said that BPT 5204 variety of rice was facing a threat of survival if not water was not made available to KC Canal and Srisailam Reservoir Back Canal (SRBC) ayacut at the right time.

“Normally, the operations would catch up in the first week of July and transplantation of saplings would be completed before July-end so that the farmers can harvest the crop in November. But, due to insufficient and lack of timely rains, it is being affected severely by Neck Blast Disease every season. Accordingly, the yields are dropping by 60 to 70 per cent over normal yields,” Venkata Subbaiah said. He said that it is impacting the harvest of paddy and prices every season.

As per sources, the entire Sona fine rice crop production has reduced to 1.50 lakh metric tonne out of 2.54 lakh metric tonne due to lack of water sources every year. “We may forget the Kurnool Sona Masoori if the situation continues,” Saguneeti Sadhana Samithi president Bojja Dasaratharami Reddy said. He also agreed that delay in water supplies to the Rayalaseema Region exposes the paddy crop to Neck Blast Disease.

“The paddy yields are drastically reduced due to the neck blast disease, which is resulting to production loss of `1,000 crore per annum,” the agribusiness experts said.Agriculture scientist Dr M Nagaraju Rao said that Kurnool Sona Masoori rice was a popular fine rice variety being produced in Rayalaseema region especially Kurnool district due to conducive atmosphere.

“The rice being produced here is well-accepted all over India and abroad due to its slenderness, cooking quality and taste. The International Research Centre also certified Kurnool Sona Massori Rice (BPT 5204) as a wonderful variety in the world having all qualities,” the scientist said.He added that this kind of rice was being produced in other states also like Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Produced in TS, TN too  

This variety of rice is being produced in other States such as Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, but if the local and non-local varieties are compared, one can find the difference