Now, borewells to protect sugarcane

Farmers hope to save standing crop and thus reduce loss

Unable to see sugarcane crops drying, a farmer has found an alternative method to save it by digging borewell in his field. Speaking to Deccan Herald, K T Krishna, who has taken up the work said though he knows he could not yield profit this year, he is trying out methods to prevent loss.

This is not the story of one cane grower, but the fate of farmers across the district, with crops on more than 30,000 acres facing drought.

Krishna said he had grown sugarcane on 2.5 acres of land and will be ready to harvest by July. With water release into canals stopped since a month, he had no other option but to spend Rs 45,000 to dig borewells to save his crop.

As there is no power connection for half a kilometre stretch, he had to bring a diesel pumpset to get the work done and the cost escalating by Rs 20,000, he said.

He is hoping of get 60 tonnes of sugarcane per acre, but if no steps are taken to save the crops, the yield will be less than 50 per cent that is not sufficient to meet the expenses of labour and fertilisers, he said.

Though the expenses is pinching his pocket, it might be of use in future and can also be used for drinking purpose by the people of the village, Krishna hopes.

Farmers who are financially in a better position have opted this method and borewells can be seen at Srirangapatna, Pandavapura, Mandya and Maddur taluks. Some farmers have also borrowed money to dig borewells.

The companies digging borewells are busy, some farmers have even done advance booking, said a farmer.

But, not all farmers can afford to dig borewells. Some have already taken loan for growing crops and are not willing to overburden themselves with more debt.

Factory closed

MySugar factory suspended operations 10 days ago due to non-availability of water. This caused anxiety among ryots as there are 50,000 tonnes of cane yet to be crushed.

The deputy commissioner intervened and had made arrangements for water from the water supply board. Now, there is a problem with the boiler and crushing has been suspended since February 9, adding to the woes of the farmers.

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