Farmers, officials at war over rain measure

Farmers, officials at war over rain measure

Average rainfall in the distrcit, but not enough to bring cheers to the farmers

The district administration and farmers are at loggerheads over amount of rainfall received this season.

While the district administration claims that the rainfall received in the district is now below average and is not being used properly, farmers argue that the measuring of average rainfall itself is not done accurately.

The district is reeling under a severe water crisis for the last three years. According to officials, despite the average rainfall, water sources in the district have remained dry, thanks to encroachment of raja kaluve and tanks. But farmers are not ready to buy their argument. “At least some tanks should have filled with the amount of average rainfall received. But tanks, even water taps/ borewells have been rendered dry,” observed progressive farmer N R Chandrashekhar adding there is no appropriate method to measure the rainfall.

How is it fair to assess the drought on the basis of average rainfall. There is a lot of difference between measuring average rainfall and rainfall required for agriculture activities, he argues.

“Department authorities are depending on old statistics to define farm activities. This needs to be changed,” he urges.

About 15 to 20 years ago, the district would get sufficient rainfall filling up all water bodies but this is not the case today. However, the amount of average rainfall remains the same, says Chikkanna, Joint Director of Agriculture Department.

“Last month, various parts of the district received rainfall which, if calculated together, is more than the average rainfall. In June, the average rainfall is registered at 187.4 mm and till June 29, the district received a cumulative 189 mm of rainfall,” Chikkanna told Deccan Herald.

Farmers can be benefitted if the rainfall is registered at least 30 to 35 mm but the recent years’ rainfall is of no help to farmers, leave alone filling up tanks and lakes.

Warning

Agriculture activities, especially for groundnut crop, may be severely hit if the district fails to receive rain in July first week. However, sowing of ragi and tur dal may wait till July second week.

Till now, a total of 2,580 hectares of groundnut has been sown and sowing in Mulbagal alone is the highest with 2,500 hectares.

In June month alone, average rainfall of the district is at 53.8 mm and this year, the district witnessed 25.8 mm of rainfall (last year it was recorded at 39.1 mm).

Since the amount of rainfall is less than the average this month, it is certainly not beneficial for farming activities, he added.

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