Blossom showers are common in Kodagu in the month of March which helps the coffee plants to blossom.
Unfortunately, poor showers have put the growers to hardship and growers are staring at the sky anticipating rain.
Without rain, the black pepper vines and crops have started drying. Growers who have sources of water have been successful in saving their crops.
On the one hand, rain failed in the month of November and Somwarpet taluk has already been declared as drought hit. The lack of rain has affected all the crops.
Majority of the lakes and rivulets have dried up and the groundwater table has declined drastically. The water level in borewells has also gone down.
To protect the crop, the growers are turning towards sinking borewells. To save Arabica coffee, the growers in Shanivarasanthe, Kodlipete and Somwarpet Kasaba hobli are using sprinklers to water the plants.
Growers in Suntikoppa too are dependent on water from lakes and ponds to save Robusta coffee.
The decline in the water level in Haradooru and Hattihole has aggravated the situation.
Somwarpet taluk has 200 protected lakes. There are 2,160 borewells for the purpose of drinking water.
Coffee growers and farmers have sunk a few borewells to irrigate their farmland. The disruption in power supply has also hindered the farmers in irrigating the crops.
Coffee is cultivated on 28,590 hectares of land, of which Arabica is cultivated on 22,900 hectares.
According to Coffee Board statistics, in Somwarpet Kasaba—Arabica coffee is cultivated on 6,900 hectares of land and Robusta on 400 hectares of land, in Shanivarasanthe—Arabica on 6,740 hectares and Robusta on 270 hectares, in Suntikopp—Arabica on 6,660 hectares and Robusta on 3,820 hectares, and in Madapura—Arabica on 2,600 hectares and Robusta on 1,200 hectares.
Robusta coffee is cultivated by those who have water facilities. Without water, the growers will not be able to reap the harvest in Robusta coffee.
Heggula coffee grower S P Sathish said, “The failure of timely blossom showers has been affecting the production of coffee as well as black pepper. The scorching sun has an impact on coffee plants. The rise in temperature will aggravate white borer disease.”
Basavanalli grower Nagesh lamented, “Farmers who are dependent on rain have been affected.”