Delayed Rainfall Slows Down Sowing Activities in Karnataka
The mood in Karnataka has turned sour for farmers waiting to sow seeds for the new season. The delay in monsoons has resulted in a setback to agricultural activities. Sowing has taken place in only 10% of cultivable land.
The monsoon, which generally arrives in the first week of June in Kerala, was delayed. In Karnataka, some farmers began sowing their seeds after the onset of pre-monsoon showers in May. However, the absence of rain since then has resulted in a stressful situation for farmers scrambling to secure the already-sown crops.
Mahadevi Huyigol, a farm union leader from Dharwad, says that the farmers in her region of north Karnataka cannot commence with sowing.
Speaking to NewsClick, she says, "This time, most farmers have not started sowing the Kharif crops due to the absence of rainfall. They have all the seeds and fertilizers but are sitting idle. The black soil in our region requires rainfed irrigation. Moreover, most of the farmers here do not have access to borewell water. Even if they do, it is unusable due to the high salt concentration in the water. Small farmers who do not have any leftover grains from the previous harvest are suffering."
Dr Halalingaiah, a retired deputy director of the Karnataka State Horticulture Department, speaks about the facilities that the government can provide when the rains are delayed.
Speaking to NewsClick, he said, "We are seeing some light showers in the last two days, but I cannot say whether this is the monsoon or the cyclonic depression. When the rains are delayed, the government can opt for cloud seeding. They also provide subsidies for sprinkler irrigation and drip irrigation systems. Crops like Maize, Ragi, sorghum, groundnuts and Red gram are dependent on rainfed irrigation. Farmers would have sowed these seeds in May. Without rains, the yield is drastically reduced."
According to a report in Vijayavani, despite a goal of sowing 1.54 lakh hectares of land in Chikkaballapura, only 152 hectares have been sowed so far.
In Bengaluru rural, sowing has taken place on 71,268 hectares during the monsoon season. Ragi has been sown in 59,100 hectares; Maize in 8136 hectares; toor dal in 948 hectares; and 215 hectares of groundnut have been sown.
In Kolar district, the target for groundnut sowing was 10,980 hectares. However, due to a lack of rain, only 53 hectares of groundnuts and sesame have been sown, the report said. Despite stockpiling seeds and fertilizers, agricultural activities have not commenced in districts like Tumkur, Ramanagara and many others.
The report mentions that in Shimoga, 77,640 hectares of paddy, 48,770 hectares of maize, 490 hectares of cereals, 415 hectares of pulses and 1223 hectares of oilseeds have been sown.
Similarly, in Hassan, out of a target of 2.45 lakh hectares, sowing has taken place only in 69000 hectares.
In Chamarajanagar, farmers who have sowed Jackfruit, sunflower, cowpea and corn are already on the verge of losses. The arrival of the monsoon is long-awaited.
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