Drought-hit Bellary faces fodder crisis

Mooing tale

In a drought situation, it is quite usual for the working class to migrate in search of jobs. However, due to lack of drinking water and fodder, thousands of animals in the drought-hit Koppal district, have been brought to Bellary.

In search of green: Cattle brought from drought-hit villages of Koppal taluk for grazing to Daroji, Devalapur and Metri  villages of Bellary district. DH Photo

Over 4,000 heads of cattle, mainly cows and calves, from Kanakagiri, Venkatagiri, Ganganala, Basavapatna, Mukkappi, Bankapur and other places in Koppal district have been brought for grazing in irrigated areas of Bellary district near Kampli like Devalapur, Metri, Daroji and Chowk, for grazing.

In the past, every year, some cowherds used to bring animals to places with availability of water during summer and then return to their villages.  However, this year, a very large number of animals have been brought for grazing and drinking water. Besides, animals have also been taken to surrounding areas of Gangavathi for drinking water and fodder.

In Kanakagiri and surrounding villages, people have been hiring cowherds to take their cows and calves to neighbouring places for drinking water and pasture. This ‘migration’ is likely to continue till the end of May.

Clash for grass

Ramanna of Venkatagiri village says that there is drought in his village and he has brought the animals here for fodder and water.

However, the increase in demand for fodder has led to clash between the cowherds and shepherds. Some shepherds have been attacking the cows and not allowing them to graze.

“We have managed to convince them to have mercy on these dumb animals,” Ramanna adds.

Karedeppa of Mukkappi village said that when there was drought in 2003-04 cows were brought to these parts, and now, a similar drought situation has arisen.

“The government has not opened goshalas (cow shelters) in Koppal and has not provided fodder. Therefore, we have come here in search of water and pasture. The summer has just begun, more number of animals are likely to arrive in the coming days,” he added.

Some farmers allow the lodging of these cows in their farms, because cow dung dropped in their fieds would make their land fertile for the next three-four years. So they gladly welcome them.

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