Water-intensive papaya is a drain on money

Water-intensive papaya is a drain on money

Crisis forces farmer to depend on tanker water

In this drought-hit district, with severe water crisis, tanker water is the only source for the residents here. But the dependence on tanker water is not only limited to domestic purpose, for now, farmers too are forced to buy water for their crops shelling out more money.

For, most of the wells in the farms have dried up and many new borewells are lying defunct. The crisis has pushed the farmers to go for tanker water. And those who cannot afford to buy water for their farm are quitting farming and their number is growing.

Eshwarappa, a farmer from Doddahasala village has grown papaya in his six acre land using drip irrigation. Of the five borewells he had in his farm, only a few were in good condition. But now, all of them have gone dry. Unperturbed, Eshwarappa sunk one more borewell in his farm but in vain.

This did not ensure enough water supply to his papaya plants. Since 15 days, the plants are drying up. Worried, Eshwarappa purchases water from private tankers and till now at least 60 tankers of water has been provided to his farm. Yet, the plants are drying up.

“I never had such a problem, for I had wells in my farm. But this year, I have to purchase water for my plants. Last year, there was considerable amount of rain and there was sufficient moisture in the land that could sustain the crop. But this year, we are just helpless,” said worried Eshwarappa.

Earlier, Eshwarappa had quit sericulture due to lack of water and had taken to papaya. “Since we have just planted the saplings, we do not want them to die. But the tanker water is not enough,” said Eshwarppa’s son Nagaraj.

“If such a situation continues, days would not be far when there will no water resources to grow crops,” observed Horticulture Department Assistant Director Manjunath. He wanted the farmers to switch to crops that require less water and reduce usage of groundwater.

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