Rain god unkind to S'ghatta

Rain god unkind to S'ghatta

Sowing continuing only in 1,600 hectares of semi-irrigated land

A land prepared for sowing in Shidlaghatta taluk. Agricultural activities have come to a grinding halt in the taluk owing to scanty rains. DH Photo

Sowing should have been completed in 16,000 hectares of land if all had went as expected.

But, the farmer, who made all the preparations for sowing, is sitting idle, as it has not rained. The taluk should have received a minimum rainfall of 280 mm compared to previous years. It had rained 480mm by this time last year while the taluk has received barely 190 mm of rainfall this year. As a result, sowing is continuing only in 1,600 hectares of semi-irrigated land.

Sowing usually picks up momentum in the taluk by May. As the rain god has frowned on the region, farmers are hesitant to commence agricultural activities. Lured by the proximity to International Airport, farmers have sold major portion of their holdings keeping only a small portion. While the money received from the sale of land has been spent, the absence of rain has further compounded their misery.

The region is dependent on borewells for water. The groundwater table too has hit the nadir in the taluk. One has to dig up to 1000 feet to get water and pumps cannot lift water, given the erratic power supply. According to Bescom records, there are as many as 8,000 pumpsets across the taluk. As a result of this, sowing cannot be taken up even in irrigated lands also.  In fact, sowing season is nearing end, while the activity is yet to gain momentum in the taluk. Fertilisers, pesticides and sowing seeds, stocked by the farmers in anticipation of a good rainfall have remained unused.

According to a report by the Agriculture Department only a selected grains including ragi could be sowed, within August 31. However, farmers are sceptic whether it would rain in the next 20 days.