Rain fails potato growers in Hassan district

Rain fails potato growers in Hassan district

Rain fails potato growers in Hassan district

Delay in arrival of monsoon has nipped the farmers’ hope in the bud. The potato growers in the district are forced to sell seeds for half the price they purchased it, suffering a huge loss even before the cultivation began.

Ironically, the rush that was witnessed during the purchase of seeds a few weeks ago was missing during the resale now.

The farmers had procured the potato seeds from the traders in Punjab and other parts of North India paying an exorbitant price of Rs 1,300 per quintal which was mere Rs 600 - Rs 800 a quintal last year in the corresponding period.

The farmers in large number bought the potato seeds, relying on weathermen’s predictions that the rain would be normal this year.

Besides, the rain in April also had triggered their hope to reap good yield after a gap of five years. Such was the rush that the policemen were deployed to manage the crowd at the purchase centre in the APMC yard in Hassan. The farmers had bought pesticides and insecticides even before sowing activities began.

Encouraged by the cloudy weather, they ploughed the field. Some of them completed the sowing too, expecting the rain that didn’t come.

Disappointed over the delay in the onset of monsoon, the farmers, who had not yet sown the seeds brought them back to the APMC yard for reselling. The seeds which cost them nearly Rs 13 per kg were sold at Rs five - Rs six, causing a loss of Rs 800 per quintal.

The officials said potato seeds were sown on 15,000 hectares of land and the crops on over 8,000 hectares have withered.