Govt Officials fail to satisfy furious farmers' questions

Govt Officials fail to satisfy furious farmers' questions

Farmers caught government officials off-guard at the agriculture information campaign under the Krishi Abhiyaan at Somenahalli recently.

“Why is the Raitha Samparka Kendra office never open? Why does the veterinary hospital face shortage of medicines? Why don’t the officials of the Department of Agriculture give any information to farmers seek?”

The questions of the farmers from all over the hobli could evoke only escapist replies from the government officials.

Delay in project
The farmers asked for figures of irrigation pits in the hobli and of farmers who have been given financial support.

“The officials do not make timely surveys of the fields. They have sunk a pit in my field. The official visited three months later, checked and declared the work to be incomplete as it was not carried out properly. Also, instead of the assured Rs 27,000, I have been given only Rs 17,000 as financial support,” narrated farmer Narayanappa. He also asked the officials if any other farmer had been treated similarly.

Anuroopa, the district deputy director, said that every hobli had been assigned an official in-charge, but it was difficult for only one officer to inspect all fields. “The site to sink the irrigation pit needs to be surveyed, it should be checked if it can be used for rainwater harvesting. The farmers should necessarily get the pits sunk using earthmovers. Only if the pits are sunk in five to six steps can the farmers be granted money for the work,” she insisted.

Low quality
J N Seetharama Reddy, farmer from Jambigemarahalli, opened a bag of groundnut seeds that he had purchased at the Samparka Kendra at discount rate. Showing all those who had gathered at the campaign the groundnuts he was given, Reddy said that a 30-kg bag of groundnut contained six kg mud, stones and vacuum.


Calling it daylight robbery, Reddy criticised officials of calling farmers the backbone of the country in lengthy speeches, but failing to respect the farmers for the contributions.

“The officials have given loads of trash along with the groundnuts purchased. The 30-kg bags of seeds – that are priced by the government at Rs 2,070 – are given at discount rate, at Rs 1,650. If, however, one 30-kg bag contains up to six kg of such trash, how much will the farmers get? Also, after the groundnuts in a bag are peeled, we are left with only 18 kg for sowing. Then, how can farmers hope for development or any sort of support from the government departments?” Reddy criticised.

Anuroopa, however, ‘justified’ the poor quality of seeds with the argument that it was difficult for officers at all centres to check every bag before selling to farmers. “Also, groundnut is not a popular crop in this region. The Karnataka Seed Board Karnataka State Seeds Certification Agency purchases the best quality seeds from farmers of Bengaluru and Davangere. The officials of the agency will be given notice on the matter,” she assured.

Farmers Ashwatthanarayana and Narayanappa also complained that officials at the Samparka Kendra had purchased seeds from them but had not given them receipts. The deputy director, in turn, said that the matter of farmers not being handed receipts was brought to her notice during the campaign and promised to look into the matter.

Farmers Ashwatthanarayana and Narayanappa also complained that officials at the Samparka Kendra had purchased seeds from them but had not given them receipts. “The farmers are also not being given the free tarpaulin sheets, as promised by the government,” the complaints went loud.

The deputy director, in turn, said that the matter of farmers not being handed receipts was brought to her notice during the campaign and promised to look into the matter. “As for the tarpaulin sheets, however, we are yet to receive grants from the government, and will supply the sheets to you as soon as we get the grants,” she added.

Veterinary hospital
The farmers continued with their complaints, shifting to the matter of veterinary doctors sending them to private medical shops to purchase the medicines. “Where has the supply from the government gone? In most veterinary hospitals, the doctors too are missing,” they added.


Medical officer Dr Subrahmanyam said that the medicines are administered to the animals. “It is true that animal owners are sent to private medical stores to purchase medicines that are not supplies by the government. I have to function from both Sadali and Somenahalli and have to balance the times allocated to the places. In some cases, I have to visit villages too, to attend to cattle that are ill,” he insisted.

The officials who had to deal with the farmers, however, failed to satisfy the latter, who found most of the replies escapist rather than believable.

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