On World Food Day, no ragi for man, no fodder for animals

On World Food Day, the citizens in the district only reflect on the doubling of ragi price but lack of fodder for cattle.

On World Food Day, no ragi for man, no fodder for animals

On World Food Day, the citizens in the district only reflect on the doubling of ragi price but lack of fodder for cattle.

Both, farmer and customer, are in desperate search. The former is hunting for cattle feed all over villages and the latter is running from shop to shop, hoping to get ragi at an affordable rate.

The ragi crop in most parts of the district has dried up following a dry stint. If available anywhere, the customers are forced to pay double the price.

Scene 1

Munivenkatappa, a farmer from Andhrahalli in the taluk, came to Matnahalli, seven km away, with his family about a week ago, in an auto rickshaw. Their long journey was with just one intention: to get as much fodder required for two cows and a few sheep as available and return home. All they could hope to get was dry fodder, for no farm has green fodder any longer.

The family members, including the children, together spent hours cutting the grass and filled it all in several rucksacks. They stuffed the bags into the auto rickshaw, paying the driver Rs 200 as a day’s rent, and returned home. The adults also had to go for work as manual workers.

Do they really wish to live in such conditions?

“Never mind if we starve. We must respond to the needs of the cattle- after all, they cannot call out and ask for food! Then, there would be some meaning to our lives,” they insist.

Scene 2

“We cannot provide 25 kgs of ragi at one go- no farmer supplies us so much any more. We have not sold ragi the last one month.”

Chalapathi, member of the grain suppliers’ association in the City poured out his woes to a customer on Monday.

He is completely dependent on the farmers in the district for ragi supply. Now, however, the supply has stopped totally.

After the loss of ragi crop due to lack of rain, the farmers are afraid of starving their families by supplying whatever little ragi they already have.

“The crop was priced as high as Rs 1,800 a quintal barely a month ago. Now, we do not get moderate quality ragi at even Rs 2,400-2,500,” said Chalapathi.

“If we wish to purchase at kg limits, ragi costs Rs 25 a kg. If the dry stint continues, the price will only hike further,” he warns.

Farmers themselves have to pay Rs 1,200-1,500 a quintal to purchase ragi from one another.

Scene 3

Srinivas, a farmer of Chowdadenahalli in the taluk has some breathing space in spite of the condition of the ragi crop. He has invested in sericulture, which enables him to bear the loss.

Some others too have taken up rain-based farming but the use of scientific methods has saved them.

Most farmers in the villages, unfortunately, are dependent solely on ragi and are facing extremely difficult times.

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