Fodder problem hits C'magaluru villages

Fodder problem hits C'magaluru villages
The deficit monsoon and the consequent crop loss have caused a severe shortage of paddy straw, the fodder for cattle. As a result, farmers have started feeding areca nut sheaths to cattle at Machenahalli.

The village, located 35 km away from the district headquarters, is reeling under drought for the last eight years. The farmers are struggling to feed fodder to their cattle as the district administration has not opened fodder bank. Those who have a few animals are selling them to tide over the situation at lower prices. The situation is same at Kurubarahalli, Thandya, Shankaranahalli and K B Hal.

Theerthamma, a villager, said, “Our men visit areca nut farms and wait for the falling of areca sheaths and get them to feed the cattle. Women have to walk for miles to fetch a pot of water. We are struggling day in and day out to get fodder for cattle. There is no employment for us in the surrounding areas as well. We are bearing the brunt of drought.”

The villagers said the government has increased the incentives for motivating dairy farmers. But the milching cows are dying without fodder. A fodder bank was opened at Belavadi two months ago and fodder was distributed only to a few people. “The fodder did not reach our village. If the situation continues, then cattle will did due to lack of fodder and drinking water,” they rued.

The villagers said water is not being supplied through tankers. A barrel of water was supplied on the previous day of Ugadi festival. After that, the tankers have not come to the village. About 95% of the borewells have dried up, they said.

Nanjundappa, a 70-year-old farmer, said, “The village lake had received water in 2010 after the Belavadi Doddakere overflowed.  We had grown ragi, jowar and onion last year. But we did not fetch good price for the crops.”

From the last three months, the farmers and elected representatives are demanding the government to open a goshala in the village. Shivananda, a farmer, said, “Fodder was distributed at the fodder bank in Belavadi twice. But it was not sufficient. The lack of fodder has affected the dairy farming.”

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