Reeling under 60th drought in 100 yrs

Ryots praying for rain gods to show mercy

The onion crop which is withering due to the lack of rains in the Madakaripura village in Chitradurga taluk. DH Photo

The farmers in the district are worried a lot as the rains have betrayed them during the sowing period. Though some of the farmers have started the sowing, their crops are now withering due to lack rain. Sowing on 1.5 lakh hectares in the district is yet to begin.

The sowing activities have commenced in 60 per cent of the cultivable land in the district. However sowing activities is mere 11.6 per cent in Molakalmuru , 33.1 per cent in Challakere and 30 per cent in Hiriyur taluks which have been identified as  backward.

Out of the 3.58 lakh hectares of cultivable land in the district sowing has begun in 2.14 lakh hectares with Chitradurga taluk leading with 69,962 hectares under sowing followed by Holalkere with 52,671 hectares, Hosadurga with 40,156 hectares, Challakere with 32,865 hectares, Hiriyur with 14,804 hectares and Molakalmuru with mere 3,573 hectares. The district will be drought prone if the rains doesn’t arrive by August 15.

Groundnut

Groundnut is the major crop of the district and is extensively cultivated in Challakere, Molakalmuru and Hiriyur taluks. The target area for sowing groundnut had been set at 1.46 lakh hectares this time. But sowing has been carried out only in 50,301 hectares till the end of July.

Though farmers have started the dry land farming they require rains in another 10 days to sustain the activity. The farmers expressed that there haven’t been enough rains to sow the groundnut crop. According the agriculture officer rain in the month of July is useful for the groundnut crop but this time it had failed to rain.

Even the onion crops are drying up. The crops cultivated utilising the borewell water are the only hopes of the farmers. Holalkere and Chitradurga taluk have received copious rainfall and consequently 79,624 hectare of land is green with standing maize crop.
The region has received more rainfall when compared to the last year. However it has not rained during the sowing season. This year it received 299.6 mm of rain. Last year, at this time the region had received 267.5 mm of rain as against the normal 258.1 mm.

Drinking water problem

Vanivilasa Sagar dam of the district is the source of drinking water for Chitradurga and Hiriyur, but has dried up due to scanty rains. The current water level at the dam is 67 ft against the maximum level of 133 ft. The water cannot be supplied if the water-level dips to 62 ft.

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