Bleak kharif stares Bijapur farmers in the face

Bleak kharif stares Bijapur farmers in the face

Miseries piled on the farmers in the district last year with the failure of both the kharif and rabi crops. If they had any hope that good rain this year would make good their losses, it has been dashed.

The district, where much of the agriculture land is rain-fed, usually experiences showers in May.

But, this time showers have evaded even in the first week of June, thus diminishing the  prospects of a good kharif crop.

Of the 4.3 lakh hectares of farmland in the district, rain-fed land forms three lakh hectares. Sowing for the kharif season was planned to be taken up on 2.72 lakh hectares.

While the yield target for maize and bajra was 4,300 metric tonnes (MT), that for the dicotyledons was 5,000 MT. With rains playing truant, the yield is likely to go down drastically this year.

It is normal for the agriculturists to ready their fields and sow the seeds starting June 1, once the first rains wet the ground. But, this time it has been an agonising wait for the farmers. Even if it rains now, it will take another 10 to 15 days to prepare the fields and sow the seeds.

 The total delay is likely to bring down the yield of the rabi crop considerably this year. Tippanna Dalavai, a farmer from Toravi in the district, has little expectations from the present kharif season.

Says a glum-faced Dalavai, “Last year, we had sown jowar seeds, but the yield was not even equal to the amount of seeds sown. Only a heavy rain can wet the land which has gone bone dry.

Though the Met department has predicted rain after June 11, the farmers say it will be a little too late. Seeds of green gram, bajra, maize and sunflower should have already been sown. The yield will be much less even if green gram seeds are sown now.

Bajra too will meet the same fate, if the skies do not open up within a week. There is some hope only from the tur dal and sunflower crops at this point, says Dr Banthanala, the joint director of the agriculture department.   

Last year, the kharif and rabi crop losses were a whopping Rs 197 crore and Rs 628 crore, respectively.

As per the Calamity Relief Fund guidelines, a proposal was sent to the government to provide Rs 70 crore as compensation for the crop losses last year. But the relief has only been far-fetched, the farmers said.

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